Britain says the European Union is set to impose sanctions on 32 Iranian officials over human rights abuses.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said EU foreign ministers would agree visa bans and asset freezes at their meeting in Luxembourg today.
"We have agreed sanctions, restrictive measures, on Iran because of the appalling human rights record of Iran." Hague said.
"Iran seems to have believed that with all the change happening in the Middle East, they can get away with an even worse human rights situation in that country."
As examples of Iran's human rights abuses, Hague cited "the imprisonment of opposition leaders, the detention of more journalists than any other country in the world, [and] the excessive use of the death penalty, often on vague charges,"
An EU diplomat told RFE/RL that the individuals who would be sanctioned include high-ranking police officers, prosecutors, judges, and people with strong links to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
with agency reports