Research has revealed that security forces in Iran widely used shotgun cartridges manufactured by a European company against unarmed protesters, killing and injuring dozens.

An investigation published by the FRANCE 24 Observers showed that the cartridges made by French-Italian manufacturer Cheddite have been used to crack down on demonstrators in Iran.

To conduct the investigation, the team called on Iranians to send photos of ammunition recovered from protests after the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16.

Over 100 photographs and videos showing tear gas canisters, rifle bullets, paintball projectiles and cartridges from shotguns which have been widely used by Iran’s security forces have been analyzed by the team.

While most of the shotgun shells photographed were made in Iran, 13 shells recovered from eight different Iranian cities bore Cheddite logos, says France 24.

Cheddite has factories in Italy and France, with headquarters in Livorno and Bourg-lès-Valence. The company claims to be the world’s largest maker of empty shotgun cartridges and firing caps, producing more than a billion empty cartridges every year.

While the Islamic Republic is under an arms embargo, the use of ammunition made by two Western countries by its security forces has raised the question of how these bullets reached Iran. Such transactions are considered a clear violation of EU laws.

EU Council Regulation passed on April 12, 2011, prohibits the “export, directly or indirectly, [of] equipment which might be used for internal repression” in Iran, including “firearms, ammunition and related accessories.”

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