TEHRAN: Iran said Monday that EU sanctions over its human rights record were due to “differing values” but that they should not derail dialogue with Europe.
“We have certain differences of opinion with European countries and the European Union,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said at a press conference.
“That is due in part to differing values between our region and the Islamic Republic of Iran and the European Union, notably as concerns human rights,” he said.
The EU on Thursday extended by a year sanctions against 82 individuals and an entity accused of “serious human rights violations in Iran”.
Ghasemi said long-running dialogue with the EU should continue, focusing on areas of agreement and in “a constructive atmosphere of goodwill”.
“In the coming months, there will be several delegations to discuss different subjects and not just human rights,” he said.
“I hope that this can happen in a more positive atmosphere.”
The EU sanctions — first imposed in the wake of the crackdown on the 2009 protest movement in Iran — block exports of equipment “which might be used for internal repression and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications”.
They are not linked to the 2015 nuclear deal, which lifted many other sanctions linked to Iran’s nuclear programme.
Britain, France and Germany, the three European parties to the deal, are working to head off US President Donald Trump’s threat to tear it up and reimpose nuclear-related sanctions by May 12.