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EU Envoys Agree To Prolong Sanctions Against Iranian Human Rights Abusers

BRUSSELS -- European Union ambassadors have decided to leave sanctions imposed on dozens of Iranians accused of severe human rights abuses in place for another year.

EU-nation envoys in Brussels made the decision on March 6, according to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal details of the discussions publicly

The asset freezes and visa bans apply to 82 Iranian citizens -- including several judges and prosecutors, members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, senior police officers, and prison wardens -- and one entity, the Iranian Cyberpolice.

They were first adopted in 2011 and have been rolled over every year since then.

The measures also include a ban on exports of equipment to Iran that could be used for internal repression and equipment for monitoring telecommunications.

The prolongation of the measures will be formally approved by EU ministers in the coming weeks.

In early 2016, the EU lifted all of its nuclear-related economic and financial EU sanctions against Iran after Tehran and global powers reached a deal imposing curbs on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The waiver that lifted those sanctions remains in place despite the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 agreement known by the acronym JCPOA.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL Brussels Correspondent Rikard Jozwiak