Iran summons Australia envoy in response to sanctions

Iran has summoned the Australian charge d’affaires to protest what it described as an “interventionist statement” and a round of sanctions, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Australia said Wednesday it was imposing “targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on four individuals and three entities responsible for the oppression of people in Iran, including women and girls.”

It named Iran’s police spokesman Saeed Montazer Almehdi as among people covered by the latest sanctions which also included Iran’s cyber police and state-owned Press TV.

Australia’s announcement came ahead of the first anniversary of the death in Iranian police custody of Mahsa Amini, which sparked months of nationwide protests.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died on September 16, 2022 after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

On Thursday, Iran’s foreign ministry said it had “summoned the Australian embassy’s charges d’affaires” following the announcement.

The ministry said it “communicated strong objections of the Islamic Republic of Iran against the interventionist statement as well as the sanctions.”

Last year’s demonstrations saw hundreds of people killed, including dozens of security personnel, and thousands arrested in connection with what officials labelled as foreign-instigated “riots.”

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