Iran summons Portuguese ambassador over EU sanctions

April 15, 2021 - 15:17

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Portuguese Ambassador to Tehran, Carlos Costa Neves, to protest at the European Union’s “impudent” move to blacklist a number of Iranian officials and bodies.

“Following the European Union’s impudent move to put the names of several Iranian officials and institutions on its list of human rights sanctions, Portuguese Ambassador to Tehran Carlos Costa Neves, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry and received a strong note of protest from Tehran over the European Union’s illegal action,” the ministry said in a statement. “Accordingly, the director-general for the West Europe affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the European Union’s move as politically motivated, dismissing it as a double-standard approach on human rights issues.”

“As we have already announced, Iran will, in reaction, suspend comprehensive talks with the European Union and cooperation thereof, including in the domains of [fighting] terrorism, narcotics and refugees,” he said.

It was also stressed that Iran is considering imposing reciprocal sanctions as well.

The top Portuguese diplomat, in turn, said he will inform Brussels of Iran’s protest.

Earlier on Monday, Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, condemned the EU for putting the names of several Iranian officials and institutions on its human rights sanctions list.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this move and considers it invalid,” said Khatibzadeh, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

“Such acts are committed by those who claim to be supporters of, and falsely preach [respect for] human rights with political motives, but they have not only remained silent in the face of violations of Iranian people’s rights due to the United States’ inhuman and illegal sanctions but also approved of such violations," he noted.

"Such acts are rejected and will further disgrace those who abuse lofty concepts such as human rights,” said the spokesman.

“In reaction to this European Union move, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs suspends comprehensive talks with the European Union, including human rights discussion, and all cooperation thereof, especially in the domains of terrorism, narcotics, and refugees,” Khatibzadeh noted.

“In reaction to this move by the European Union, the Islamic Republic of Iran is considering [imposing] reciprocal sanctions, which will be announced in due time,” he said.

On Monday, the EU imposed sanctions on several Iranian military and security officials over their alleged role in human rights violations.