German Chancellor Olaf Scholz strongly criticized the Iranian government Saturday for its bloody crackdown on protests in the country said Germany stands “shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people.”
Scholz said the ongoing protests sparked by the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini following her detention by Iran's morality police were no longer merely a question of dress codes but had evolved into a fight for freedom and justice.
The protests have grown into one of the largest sustained challenges to Iran's theocracy since the chaotic months after its 1979 Iranian Revolution.
“The European Union has already adopted a number of sanctions packages," Scholz said in his weekly video address.
"The principal focus is on all those who are responsible for this violence against their own people. Further sanctions are due to be added to this next week," he added.
Scholz said Iran would receive additional sanctions for its brutal crackdown and its decision to send hundreds of drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine.
European Union foreign ministers are expected to agree on additional sanctions when they meet on Monday.
Germany’s foreign minister on Friday rejected a complaint by her Iranian counterpart that she was taking an “interventionist” stance over protests in Iran and pushed back against his pledge of a “firm” response.
Baerbock had made a speech to the German parliament in which she said Berlin would not let up in pursuing further sanctions against Tehran over the protest crackdown.
Responding to Amirabdollahian’s threat of consequences for Germany’s position, Scholz said, “What kind of government does it make you if you shoot at your own citizens? Those who act in such a way must expect us to push back.”