Swiss consider wider EU sanctions on Iran over Amini death

Iranians hold pictures of Mahsa Amini during a protest outside the Iranian Consulate in Istanbul on Monday Keystone / Sedat Suna

Switzerland is considering whether to adopt the strengthened European Union sanctions against Iran following Tehran’s crackdown against demonstrators outraged by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

This content was published on October 18, 2022 minutes

The economics ministry said it had noted the EU had added 11 Iranians and four institutions, including Iran’s morality police chief, to a travel ban and asset freeze list for their role in the crackdown on protests after Amini’s death.

“The ministry is currently reviewing further steps,” it told Reuters news agency in a statement.

Some European Union foreign ministers on Monday also called for new sanctions against Iran if Tehran’s involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine is proven, a move that will also be followed closely in Switzerland, the government said.

No time frame was given before Switzerland makes its decision, with the economics ministry saying it would examine the EU sanctions.

Existing sanctions

Mahsa Amini died last month while in the custody of the Islamic Republic’s morality police who detained her for “inappropriate attire”, prompting nationwide protests during which women have removed and burnt headscarves.

The protests ignited by Amini’s death have grown into one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution, though the unrest does not appear close to toppling the system.

Neutral Switzerland has already adopted some UN and EU sanctions against Iran imposed over the country’s nuclear activities and human rights violations.

Under existing measures, Switzerland has banned the export of weapons, nuclear goods and surveillance equipment, and also frozen financial assets of some Iranians linked to the government and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

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