Netherlands unable to refuse entry to Iranians
Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal says the Netherlands cannot refuse entry to, or freeze the bank accounts of Iranians suspected of human rights violations. However, the minister said he would call on the European Union to introduce such sanctions at some point in the future.
The minister made his remarks in reaction to parliamentary questions by the Christian Union, the Christian Democrats, the conservative VVD, the Freedom Party PVV and the orthodox SGP. The five parties wanted to know whether the Netherlands could refuse entry to eight Iranians on a US black list.
Mr Rosenthal says there is no legal basis for such a move in either Dutch or EU law. EU sanctions on Iranian citizens are limited to those active in the Iranian nuclear programme. This applies to Mohamed Ali Jafari, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. He has been blacklisted by the United States and is involved in Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, so the EU can deny him entry and freeze his assets.
The Dutch parliament wants to ban entry for Iranians guilty of serious human rights violations. The five parties have pointed to the oppression of peaceful protesters and activists after the 2009 elections. The United States has already introduced an entry ban for Iranians suspected of human rights violations.
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