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Iran urges EU to take ‘realistic approach’ to protests over Amini’s death

Iran has called on the European Union to adopt a “realistic approach” regarding the protests over Mahsa Amini’s death as the bloc prepares to impose new sanctions on Tehran.

EU countries on Wednesday agreed to level new sanctions over the “crackdown” during a month of demonstrations over Amini’s death.

“We recommend that Europeans look at the issue with a realistic approach,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a phone call on Friday.

“Iran is not the land of velvet or colour coups,” Amirabdollahian continued in his call with Borrell, in reference to Western-backed protest movements in Europe and elsewhere.

Borrell meanwhile stressed that “people in Iran have the right to peaceful protest and to defend fundamental rights”.

“Violent repression must stop immediately. Protesters must be released,” he tweeted on Friday, adding that “internet access and accountability are needed”.

READ MORE: EU closes in on Iran sanctions as Khamenei blames ‘enemies’ for protests

Western “hypocrisy”

Iran has been rocked by protests since Amini’s death on September 16, three days after she was arrested by the so-called morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

The street violence has led to dozens of deaths, mostly among protestors but also members of the security forces, while hundreds have been arrested.

In a separate statement on Friday, Amirabdollahian said: “Who would believe that the death of one girl is so important to Westerners?”

“If it is so, what did they do regarding the hundreds of thousands of martyrs and deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon?” he added.

Iranian officials have previously criticised Western “hypocrisy” over the issue of human rights.

“It is not right that in Europe, the most violent confrontation with riots is a good and acceptable act, but the same act within the legal framework in Iran is considered repression,” Amirabdollahian told Borrell.

The United States, Canada and Britain have already imposed sanctions on Iranian officials and entities over the protests.

The foreign ministry quoted Amirabdollahian as saying “the Islamic Republic of Iran will take reciprocal action,” if the EU makes a similar move.

At least 108 dead in Iran Mahsa Amini protests: rights group

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