EU Censured Over Rights Allegations

EU Censured Over Rights Allegations

A lawmaker took a swipe at the European Union for renewing anti-Iran sanctions over alleged claims of "human rights violations" for another year, drawing a comparison between the bloc's approach and the policies of the US and Israel, Iran's arch-foes.
"The European Union is pursuing the policies of the US and Zionists against Iran," Chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said in a Friday talk with ICANA.
"While the EU comprises of 27 independent countries, it is following the policies of the US and Zionist lobbyists. This calls into question the EU decision to extend the sanctions."
Iran has consistently denied western allegations of sponsoring terrorism and human rights abuses.
"The Islamic Republic has emerged as the epitome of the fight against global and regional terrorism and had developed a good reputation worldwide," Boroujerdi said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the EU announced its decision to keep the sanctions in place until April 13, 2018, including a travel ban and asset freeze on 82 Iranians and one entity, and a ban on the bloc's exports of certain equipment to Iran.
It added that the blacklisted names would be published in the EU's Official Journal.
The EU imposed restrictions on Iran for the first time in 2011.
The news of the extension came despite rapprochement between Tehran and EU after the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement.
The sanctions are distinct from those over Iran's nuclear program, which were lifted following the implementation of the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
After JCPOA took effect in mid-January 2016, many top EU officials and large high-powered European business delegations have been shuttling in and out of Iran.
Iran and several EU member countries have signed many agreements to foster cooperation, especially in political and economic sectors.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi has criticized EU's "unilateral" move on the pretext of human rights violations as a "failed and ineffective policy".
Last August, Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani dismissed human rights allegations against the country and proposed that the Islamic Republic and Europe initiate a dialogue on human rights.
He said human rights have long been a point of friction between Iran and the West, stressing that Europe and the US are making an "instrumental use" of the issue.


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