EU Parliament seeks targeted sanctions on Iran for killing of Afkari, Zam

Suspend diplomatic and economic relations with Iran, demand European politicians

Vigil held for Navid Afkari, a wrestler killed by the Iranian regime, in Toronto, Canada (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Vigil held for Navid Afkari, a wrestler killed by the Iranian regime, in Toronto, Canada
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The majority of European Parliament members on Thursday voted to condemn the Iranian regime’s violation of human rights and urged selective sanctions against the clerical regime.
According to the parliament’s statement, the MEPs “demand targeted EU measures against Iranian officials who have committed serious human rights violations, including the recent executions of Ruhollah Zam and Navid Afkari, as well as against those involved in gross human rights abuses, such as judges who have handed the death sentence to journalists, human rights defenders, political dissidents and activists.”
In September, the US government imposed sanctions on Iranian regime judicial and prison officials who carried out the execution of Afkari.
Iran’s regime executed Zam in December and Afkari in September for their peaceful protests against regime corruption and economic mismanagement.
Afkari, a champion Greco-Roman wrestler, participated in demonstrations against the worsening economy in 2018.
Zam, a journalist, disclosed widespread regime corruption in his reporting.
The parliament statement added that the “MEPs strongly condemn the arbitrary detention, sentencing and, recently, return to prison of women human rights defender, lawyer and 2012 Sakharov Prize laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh in Iran. They urge Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release her and allow her to receive the healthcare she requires.”
The vote was approved by 614 MEPs in favor, 12 against and 63 abstentions.
Iran’s parliament (Majlis) said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), “that the anti-Iran resolution made the Iranian lawmakers completely surprised and dissatisfied.” The IRNA article added that “the Iranian legislators warned that the issuance of the resolution shows Europeans support US-imposed unilateral sanctions on the great nation of Iran, which is considered a disgraceful act.”
A group of 24 members of the European Parliament last week urged the EU’s chief diplomat to suspend “all trade and diplomatic relations of the entire European Union” with Iran’s regime until Tehran releases Ahmad Reza Djalali to Sweden.
The letter to the EU’s foreign policy head Josep Borrell stated “we are extremely concerned about the death sentence given to the Swedish Iranian citizen, Dr. Ahmad Reza Djalali. The execution of Dr. Djalali was recently confirmed by the Supreme Court, and subsequently, he was transferred to the place of execution.”
The MEPs continued that “Dr. Ahmad Reza Djalali is a Swedish citizen and should have the full support of all EU member states... It is certain that demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Ahmad Reza Djalali, as well as a coordinated effort by the EU member states in taking a strong stance against the Iranian regime’s violation of human rights, would send a clear message to the regime’s officials, to reconsider their behaviors and reaffirm their commitments to their international obligations.”
Djalali, a medicine researcher, relocated to Sweden. Iran’s regime arrested him in 2016 during his attendance at a scientific conference, which he was invited to by Tehran University. The regime sentenced him to death in 2017 for espionage.
Iranian-regime controlled television showed video of Djalali ostensibly confessing to providing information to the Mossad about Iran’s military establishment’s nuclear scientists. Iran frequently shows forced confessions on state-controlled television.
The politicians’ letter was dated December 14 and was announced on December 17.