EU imposes sanctions on Iran
January 10, 2019
The EU imposed sanctions against Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and two Iranian nationals on Tuesday.
“This means that funds and other financial assets of the Ministry and both individuals have been frozen,” explained the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok, and the Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Kajsa Ollongren.
The Netherlands recommended that the EU impose sanctions after the General Intelligence and Security Service found a “strong indication” that Iran was behind the assassination of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin on EU soil. According to the New York Times, “The two Iranian nationals killed in the Netherlands were tied to groups accused by Iran’s government of involvement in violence.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said of the sanctions, “Accusing Iran won’t absolve Europe of responsibility for harboring terrorists.”
Last June the Netherlands expelled two Iranian diplomats to give “a clear signal that the Netherlands regards Iran’s probable involvement in these serious cases as unacceptable.”
The EU also accused Iran of plotting attacks in France and Denmark.
Dutch officials said that Iran must cooperate by helping with ongoing criminal investigations and “removing the present concerns,” or risk further sanctions.
The officials were also clear that the EU does not want the sanctions to affect the Iran nuclear deal. “As long as Iran fulfils its obligations under the deal, the European Union will do the same.”