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Iran Privately Menaces E.U. Capitals Against Sanctions

A rally in support of Iranian protests, in Paris, France, on October 9, 2022 | Julien De Rosa/AFP via Getty Images
A rally in support of Iranian protests, in Paris, France, on October 9, 2022 | Julien De Rosa/AFP via Getty Images

Iran this week privately pressured EU diplomats to abandon sanctions against Tehran over its lethal crackdown on protesters, warning diplomats the move may rupture Europe’s ties to the country. 

“If Europe misses taking the nuances of the current situation into consideration, the ramification will be grave and the bilateral relations may not survive it,” warned one letter — sent to a group of EU ambassadors and seen by POLITICO — which details an alternate, Tehran-friendly narrative disconnected from numerous reports coming out of Iran.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday received a similar letter, also seen by POLITICO, from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian. 

The EU is expected to soon hit Iran with penalties for its deadly suppression of the protests that have erupted following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. Iranian police have killed dozens of protesters and wounded or arrested thousands more, according to human rights groups.  

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