France says EU sanctions against Iran are targeted, not diplomatic

PARIS, France said on Wednesday that the European Union sanctions taken against two Iranian individuals and one State entity were “targeted and proportionate” and concerned unacceptable actions in the EU area by Tehran, according to a Foreign Ministry briefing.

The EU on Tuesday adopted measures against two Iranian nationals, one a diplomat and the other an intelligence operative, for their alleged role in planning attacks against Iranian opposition figures and similar groups in the European Union area.

Holland says there are strong indications that Iran was behind the killing of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin in 2015 and 2017 and the EU pinpointed planned or aborted attacks in Denmark and France.

The French Foreign Ministry said that the two individuals and the Iranian entity attached to Tehran’s intelligence service were sanctioned because they were “involved in the preparation of a planned attack in France” against the exiled opposition Mujahideen Khalq group (MEK) at a congress organised here three years ago.

The MEK had previously been placed on a European Union terror list but was later removed after a European Court of Justice ruling.

Iran accuses the EU of “harbouring terrorists” from the MEK group.

Paris said on Wednesday that the fresh sanctions – the first for several years by the EU against Iran – would mean a freeze of assets and other financial means belonging to the two individuals and the Iranian intelligence entity.

But the French statement stressed that the measures would not apply broadly to Iranian institutions or “the functioning of Iranian diplomatic missions or their bank accounts” as they benefit from immunity under international law.

France also said a day earlier in a separate statement that the new sanctions would not affect the 2015 nuclear accord signed with Iran and which Paris widely supports but from which the US has withdrawn.

Source: Kuwait News Agency