Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations condemned on Friday Tehran’s response to a wave of protests in Iran sparked by the death of young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.
They threatened the Iranian regime to continue to use all available diplomatic measures to hold the authorities accountable, hinting at the possibility of imposing further sanctions as a punishment for repressing demonstrators.
“We further condemn the brutal and disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters,” the ministers said in a statement after two days of talks in the German city of Muenster.
They called on Iran to allow access to the country for relevant UN Human Rights Special Procedures mandate holders to assess the situation in the country following the repression and arbitrary arrests.
The G7 nations, which is made up of the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, urged Iranian authorities to honor their international obligations under international law.
The ministers expressed regret at the authorities’ decision to shut down the internet and social media, adding that they “advocate the right of all Iranians to access information.”
They called on the Iranian authorities to release unjustly detained prisoners, including recently arrested protesters, children, journalists and human rights defenders, and ensure accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses.
The statement called on Tehran to release dual citizens and end the “repellent practice of such unjust detentions in hopes of political gain.”
Germany's government on Thursday urged its citizens to leave Iran or risk arbitrary arrest and long prison terms there, warning that dual nationals were particularly at risk.
The two-day meeting also tackled Iran’s destabilizing activities, and the ministers condemned its continued activities in and around the Middle East.
These include Iran’s activities with both ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as drones, and transfers of such advanced weaponry to state and non-state actors.
“Such proliferation is destabilizing for the region and escalates already high tensions,” the statement stressed.
The ministers also reiterated their clear determination that Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon.
“The G7 will continue working together, and with other international partners, to address Iran’s nuclear escalation and insufficient cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards agreement.”
They said they are “deeply concerned by the unabated expansion of Iran’s nuclear program, which has no credible civilian justification.”
They called on Iran to change course and fulfil its legal obligations and political commitments in the field of nuclear non-proliferation without further delay.
The statement also noted that despite many months of intense negotiations on a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran has not made the necessary decisions.