In a statement adopted on 12 December in Brussels, EU foreign ministers say that greater respect for human rights in Iran is essential if the country’s relations with the EU are to progress.
The statement says the human rights situation in Iran is deteriorating and notes that the Iranian authorities have failed to take action to reform laws and practices that allow human rights violations to occur.
The concerns were included in a statement that highlighted problems in a number of EU partner countries, among them China and Russia.
The statement says the EU will "pursue other means" to voice its concerns, referring specifically to UN resolutions on human rights.
However, the ministers say the EU remains open to dialogue with Iran.