What Sweden is doing in response to recent events in Iran

Updated

The Government strongly condemns the Iranian authorities’ violence against peaceful demonstrators. Sweden and the rest of the EU stand behind and have expressed clear support for those Iranians – not least those women – who are now peacefully demonstrating for their human rights.

The EU has made its opposition clear regarding the use of excessive force by the Iranian authorities against the protests. The right to freedom of expression and assembly must be fully respected. The circumstances surrounding the death of Mahsa Jina Amini must also be investigated and those responsible held to account. This has been stated by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of all 27 Member States, both in public statements and directly in talks with Iran.

Since 2011, the EU has had sanctions in place against Iran in response to human rights violations. In October, the EU decided to impose sanctions on those responsible for the violence against demonstrators, and additions to the sanctions lists were adopted on 14 November. Sweden actively supported this process. Sanctions have also been introduced in response to the Iranian drones used in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Sweden has supported the initiative for a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on 24 November, which will focus on accountability for the violence and abuses in Iran. Together with the rest of the EU, Sweden continuously reviews the tools available to respond to developments in Iran.

Sweden continuously raises the human rights situation in bilateral contacts with Iran at various levels. Sweden’s views on the violence and the serious abuses in connection with the protests have been expressed in direct talks with Iranian representatives, including at ministerial level. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has contact with the Iranian Ambassador on a number of issues, including the ongoing developments in Iran. The Embassy of Iran in Stockholm, and the Embassy of Sweden in Tehran, are important channels for conveying messages about how Sweden views developments in Iran and for continuing to safeguard Swedish interests.   

Being able to clearly express Sweden’s views in direct talks is an important way of supporting the Iranian people’s demands for human rights and exerting international pressure.