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Sanctions for human rights abusers

Violators of human rights in Iran are to face sanctions, the EU Foreign Affairs Council has announced.

Punishments will be meted out against the perpetrators of torture and brutality with which the harsh regime has become associated.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the move sent a "clear message" that the EU "will not tolerate impunity for these abuses".

"These measures are designed to support the Iranian people in claiming the rights they have long been denied and to which they, like others in the region, aspire," he said in a statement.

"This is an important and concrete part of the international response to the serious and deteriorating human rights situation.

"Iran has executed over 160 people this year, keeps more journalists in prison than any other country, has brutally suppressed recent protests arresting hundreds, and continues to keep key opposition leaders under house arrest and incommunicado.

"And all the while it claims to support freedom elsewhere in the region."

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