The European Union has expanded sanctions against Iran because of continued human rights abuses.

A meeting of EU foreign ministers added 29 officials linked to the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the list of people facing a visa ban and asset freeze.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday the measures aim to increase pressure on Iran to improve "its appalling human rights record."

"Today's decision sends a clear message to every individual on this list, and others in the Iranian regime, that we will not stand by. They will be held to account for their actions and should not involve themselves in the appalling abuses we continue to witness," Hague said.

The EU says human rights abuses have increased over the past weeks and months, including the execution of minors. It is also calling for more religious freedom and an end to repression of the political opposition.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a statement welcoming the sanctions and calling on the EU and the U.N. to adopt comprehensive sanctions, particularly on oil.

"The silence and inaction by the international community vis-a-vis crimes committed by the mullahs during the past 30 years has emboldened them to continue unabated with torture and killings in Iran," the statement said.




TOWNHALL MEDIA GROUP