Macron vows tougher sanctions on Iran amid protest crackdown

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PARIS (TBEN) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday the West should step up sanctions against Iran by targeting government officials who are part of the crackdown on protesters demanding women’s rights in the Islamic Republic.

Iranian women – and some men – have been protesting the government’s strict restrictions on their daily lives since late September after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

Tens of thousands of people across France and Europe have marched in solidarity protests with rebellious Iranians to demand freedom for women and an end to the mandatory headscarf. French music and film stars, including two Oscar-winning actors, Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, filmed themselves chopping their hair in support of protesters in Iran.

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“Women in Iran are fighting this struggle with exceptional courage under the threat of their lives and those of their loved ones,” Macron told FranceInter public radio on Monday.

Their rebellion against the clergy-led state has “ruptured the ideological bubble” that Tehran has sent to the world, Macron said, namely that Iranians don’t want Western values ​​and that women there “were somehow happy to live in this world.” constant state of living.” of obstruction.”

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The ongoing protests of young Iranians born after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1979 and who have lived alone in the Shia clergy-led state have proved them wrong, Macron said.

“The grandchildren of the (Islamic) revolution are leading a revolution against that revolution,” Macron said.

He added that the West should support them in their struggle, including by tightening European sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“I am in favor of a strong diplomatic response and sanctions against the personalities of the regime responsible for the suppression of this revolution,” Macron said.

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His comments were recorded after his meeting Friday in Paris with four activists campaigning for the rights of Iranian women from exile.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani criticized Macron for meeting the activists, including two US-based Iranian dissidents, Masih Alinejad and Ladan Boroumand. Kanaani warned Macron on Monday that supporting Iranian dissidents “whose true nature is known to the Iranian people” is a “wrong, short-sighted policy” that could jeopardize France’s “long-term interests” in the region.