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EU Expands Sanctions Against Iran

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, October 5, 2011.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, October 5, 2011.

The European Union has expanded sanctions against Iran because of what the EU says are continued human rights abuses.

The EU on Monday added 29 people in Iran to the European bloc's list of those subject to asset freezes and travel bans.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the sanctions were added to address, what he called, Iran's "appalling" human rights record.

The EU, United States and United Nations have already hit Iran with several rounds of sanctions for human rights violations and for pursuing nuclear weapons technology. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Also Monday, Iran's semi-official FARS news agency said two filmmakers arrested last month for alleged ties with the BBC's Farsi language service have been released.

It said Naser Safarian and Mohsen Shahnazdar have been freed, but FARS did not report on the other four filmmakers arrested at the same time last month.

Iran accused the filmmakers of working with the BBC on material damaging to Iran's image.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.