Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz

German Chancellor Calls For Sanctions On Tehran For Protest Deaths

Saturday, 11/12/2022

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has slammed government violence against Iranian protesters calling for a new round of EU sanctions on the Islamic Republic next week.

“We want to continue to step up the pressure on the IRGC and the political leadership,” the German chancellor said in a video posted on Twitter.

Criticizing the clerical regime he said in the video, “What kind of a government are you that shoots at its own citizens? Anyone who acts like this must count on our resistance.”

His comments were in response to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian who earlier criticized Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock for denouncing Iran’s crackdown on demonstrators.

Iran’s government reacts to any criticism of its human rights violations by accusing other countries and international organizations of interfering in its internal affairs. All top officials of the Islamic Republic have claimed that the ongoing protests were organized by “enemies,” generally meaning the United States and its allies. Some officials have even threatened Saudi Arabia for allegedly supporting media reporting on the protests.

Amir-Abdollahian tweeted Thursday that “Undermining old ties has long-term consequences and Germany can choose engagement to address shared challenges or confrontation,” adding that “Our response will be proportionate and firm.”

However, Scholz said, “The Iranian government is solely responsible for the explosion of violence.”

“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," reiterated the German chancellor.

The latest estimate by an Iranian human rights organization based abroad put the number of protesters killed by security forces at 326, including 43 children. Thousands have also been arrested by the government has not released any figures.

Scholz said the ongoing protests sparked by the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini following her detention by Iran’s morality police were no longer “merely a question of dress codes” but had evolved into a fight for freedom and justice.

Scholz further mentioned that “We see the struggle for freedom and justice, and we see Iranian drones attacking and killing Ukrainians. All of this is totally unacceptable.”

He restated that there should be further EU sanctions against Iran. “Words alone were not enough in view of the brutality and contempt for human beings,” underlined the German chancellor.

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