Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations have condemned Iran’s “brutal and disproportionate use of force” against largely peaceful nationwide protests sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody.
“We, the G7 members, express our support for the fundamental aspiration of the people of Iran for a future where human security and their universal human rights are respected and protected,” the ministers said in a statement on November 4 after two days of talks in the German city of Muenster.
The ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the European Union’s top diplomat, also deplored the Iranian government’s “erosion of civil space, and independent journalism, its targeting of human rights defenders, including by shutting down the internet and social media.”
The wave of protests that has convulsed Iran since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police has caused one of the boldest challenges to the country's clerical rulers since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The security forces have responded to the protest movement with an iron fist, arresting several thousand people, subjecting detainees to torture, and killing more than 270 people. Dozens of security forces have also been killed, according to state media.
The G7 foreign ministers urged the Iranian authorities to “treat women as equal” and release “unjustly” detained prisoners.
They also criticized Tehran’s “destabilising activities in and around the Middle East,” such as the transfer of drones and other weapons “to state and non-state actors.”
Kyiv and its Western backers accuse Tehran of supplying drones to Russia for its war against Ukraine – something Iranian officials have denied.