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EU extends rights sanctions on Iran until 2020

AFP | Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels on May 15, 2018.
The European Union has extended sanctions on Iran over human rights violations, including an asset freezes and travel bans against 82 people and one entity, for a year, until 13 April 2020.

"The Council today extended until 13 April 2020 its restrictive measures responding to serious human rights violations in Iran. These measures consist of a travel ban and an asset freeze against 82 people and one entity, and a ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used for internal repression and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications," the statement said.

In addition, these measures include a "ban on the export to Iran of equipment that can be used for internal repressions, and equipment for tracking telecommunications."

These measures were first introduced in 2011 and have been renewed annually since then.

The United Nations said last March that Iran had arrested activists and political opponents in a clampdown on freedom of expression and continued to use torture to coerce confessions.

Paris, Rome and London proposed targeting Iranian “militias and commanders” in building on the EU’s existing sanctions related to Syria, which include travel bans and asset freezes on people and a ban on doing business there.

The three are concerned about transfers of Iranian “missiles and missile technology” to Syria and Tehran allies including Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah.