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Germany's Scholz Criticizes Iran's Crackdown On Protests, Calls For More Sanctions

By RFE/RL November 12, 2022

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has strongly criticized Iran's brutal crackdown on protests triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini while expressing support for a new round of European Union sanctions against Tehran.

"We want to continue to step up the pressure on the [Islamic] Revolutionary Guards Corps and the political leadership," Scholz said in a video posted on Twitter on November 12.

We must pay heed and take action when human rights are violated. We are witnessing the Iranians' brave fight for greater freedom and justice, and the brutal violence against them. Sanctions are one way in which we are stepping up the pressure on the regime. #Kanzlerkompakt #Iran pic.twitter.com/jhtXm9JA05
— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) November 12, 2022

European Union foreign ministers are expected to agree on additional sanctions when they meet on November 14.

"More than 300 killed, dozens of death sentences, and more than 14,000 arrests. So far. Those who demonstrate against oppression in Iran risk their lives, and often also the lives of their loved ones -- and face the prospect of torture and decades in prison," he said.

"We are witnessing the fight for freedom and justice," Scholz said, referring to the nationwide demonstrations in Iran where protesters have chanted: "Woman, life, freedom," and, "Death to the dictator."

"And we are witnessing how Iranian drones are attacking Ukrainian cities and how they are killing people. All of this is completely unacceptable," he said.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Germany with Iranian roots fear for their relatives and are "appalled and disgusted by what the mullah regime is doing to the demonstrators," the chancellor continued. "It is clear that the Iranian government is solely responsible for this spate of violence."

Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, that she was taking an "interventionist" stance over protests in Iran. Baerbock had made a speech to the German parliament in which she said Berlin would not let up in pursuing further sanctions against Tehran over the protest crackdown.

Responding to Amir-Abdollahian's threat of consequences for Germany's position, Scholz said, "What kind of government does it make you if you shoot at your own citizens? Those who act in such a way must expect us to push back."

Germany and Iceland on November 11 requested the United Nations Human Rights Council to hold an emergency session on Iran to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the country amid eight weeks of antiestablishment protests.

In a letter addressed to the council president, the German and Icelandic ambassadors to the UN in Geneva asked for the session to be held on November 24, if possible, or another day that week, AFP reported.

With reporting by AFP and AP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/germany-iran- scholz-sanctions-amini/32127908.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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