France threatens to impose sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities over human rights abuses

PARIS — On Wednesday, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Iran that the European Union is ready to impose sanctions on it for serious violations of human rights.

The Ministry declared that the sanctions would affect individuals and entities involved in violating human rights in Iran, expressing deep concern about the human rights situation in the country, especially as it relates to press freedom and freedom of expression.

Two weeks ago, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed his grave concern about the fate of Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh (57) to the Human Rights Council.

Sotoudeh — a recipient of the prestigious Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament — was arrested over two years ago on charges of collusion, spreading propaganda, and insulting Iran’s supreme leader.

She was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes in 2019.

Drian also called for the release of French-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah who has been under house arrest in Tehran since 3 January 2021 following 16 months of imprisonment.