In an official statement published on Monday, December 12, Iran’s foreign ministry enlisted a number of individuals and entities in the EU and UK on a new sanctions list.
The statement accuses a number of individuals and entities of “deliberate actions supporting terrorism and terrorist groups, promoting and inciting terrorism and spreading violence and hatred that causes unrest, violence, terrorist acts and human rights violations against the Iranian people.”
The list includes a number of EU politicians such as Hannah Neumann and Claudia Roth, as well as influential French politician, doctor and co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Bernard Kouchner.
In the UK, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and several current and former members of parliament are also blacklisted.
During the weekly press conference, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani declared that the sanctions, which bans entry into Iran and access to assets, would go into effect immediately.
Next to these political figures, Iran’s Foreign Ministry has further added Prague based Radio Farda, the Persian language division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and Amsterdam-based Radio Zamaneh to the list.
In response to the Islamic Republic’s new sanctions, Joris van Duijne, director of Zamaneh Media, the organisation Radio Zamaneh operates under, stated, “It’s ludicrous. Zamaneh was formed as an independent source of information for Persian-speaking audiences everywhere, including Iran.”
“As such, our work is in support of basic human rights and especially in support of the right to information, freedom of expression, and press freedom. Any suggestion of activities not supportive of these rights is ludicrous,” he added.
This is not the first time Iranian officials have designated foreign media covering Iran as “terrorist” groups. Since the start of the protests against Zhina Mahsa Amini’s death, Iran’s foreign ministry has made similar claims against BBC Persian and Iran International. In a press conference on November 29, the Islamic Republic’s spokesperson, Ali Bahadori Jahromi, called foreign media and journalists and colleagues working under these media “terrorists.”