German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has sharply criticized the Iranian government for its brutal crackdown on the protests, saying Germany stands “shoulder shoulders with the Iranian people”.
Scholz said the protests sparked by the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Masa Amini after being detained by Iranian moral police were no longer “just a dress code issue,” but about freedom and freedom. He said it had evolved into a fight for justice.
The protests have grown into one of the biggest sustained challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the chaotic months after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“I can’t imagine how much courage this will take,” Scholz said in his weekly video address on Saturday. “More than 300 people have been killed, dozens have been sentenced to death and more than 14,000 have been arrested. exposed, often endangering the lives of loved ones as well, and can face torture and decades of prison life.”
Hundreds of thousands of people in Germany with Iranian roots fear their relatives and are “appalled and disgusted by what the Mullah regime is doing to the demonstrators,” the Chancellor continued. It is clear that we are solely responsible for this series of violence.”
Scholz said additional sanctions would be imposed over Iran’s crackdown and Iran’s decision to send hundreds of drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine. European Union foreign ministers are expected to agree to the sanctions when they meet on Monday.
On Friday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock rejected complaints that Iran’s foreign minister was taking an “interventionist” stance on the protests and refuted promises of a “firm” response.
Baerbock addressed the German parliament earlier this month, saying Berlin would not stop pursuing further sanctions against Tehran over its crackdown.
In response to Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s threat to influence Germany’s position, Scholz said: Those who act in such ways must expect us to push back. “