Members of the European Parliament held a panel debate on EU policy on Iran, in which they condemned Iran’s human rights record, nefarious regional conduct, and ballistic missile programme, on Wednesday, December 6, Iran Focus reports.
In advance of the international Human Rights Day, MEPs held a conference on EU policy towards Iran, in which they advised that the EU must- at the very least- condition its relationship with Iran with an improvement to human rights in the country.
The Friends of a Free Iran (FOFI) intergroup met in Brussels and their overwhelming decision was that regime change in Iran is necessary for the security of the Middle East and that the EU must condition its relationship with Iran on an improvement to human rights. They also discussed the appalling human rights abuses in Iran from the 1988 massacre, which killed 30,000 political prisoners, to the current wave of arbitrary imprisonments of dual or foreign nationals.
The panel was attended by FOFI chair Gerald Deprez, the President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association Struan Stevenson, Polish MEP Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP Ivan Štefanec, British MEP Anthea McIntyre, Belgian MEP Mark Demesmaeker, Austrian MEP Heinz Becker, the president-elect of the Iranian Resistance Maryam Rajavi, and various other politicians.
The conference addressed the growing number of executions in Iran- some 3,500 under the so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani, who defended the accusations as God’s will, including 18 whilst an EU delegation visited there last month. The experts addressed that this was much more than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, considered a “hardliner” by the West. Of course, there is no such thing as moderates in the Iranian Regime.
“We have seen a deterioration of human rights and the shocking rise of executions in Iran since Hassan Rouhani took office [in 2013. Last month] the Iranian state media was filled with pictures of EU reps meeting with Iranian officials. They failed to say that 18 executions took place during their visit,” McIntyre said.
Ryszard Czarnecki, vice-president of the European Parliament, and Belgian MEP Mark Demesmaeker noted that they were disappointed by the close relationship between EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the Iranian Regime, with Demesmaeker branding her “obsessed”.
Polish MEP Anna Elżbieta Fotyga said: “Why do we avoid straight words on the human rights situation in Iran in our human rights reports? We have to return to a single set of values trying to avoid hypocrisy.”
Women’s rights are heavily restricted under the Iranian Regime. They not only have restrictions on things like employment, travel and dress, but are also discriminated against by the so-called justice system. McIntyre said:
“Defeating Islamic fundamentalism begins with women rights and human rights. If we could see a democratically elected Maryam Rajavi in charge of Iran we could defeat Islamic fundamentalism.”
In the summer of 1988, the Iranian Regime ordered the execution of 30,000 political prisoners in just a few months. After a series of show trials, tens of thousands of people were slaughtered and no one has been held to account for this is nearly 30 years. In fact, many of those who served on the death commissions still hold high-ranking positions in the Regime, like the current Justice Minister who is on an EU watchlist.
“The massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in summer 1988 was a Crime Against Humanity. I call for an investigation into this crime because you can’t ask the thief to investigate his own crime. Ironically, the EU has been silent on this,” Štefanec said.
Rajavi said that Iran must be held accountable for their crimes in 1988, as many of those who were responsible for the crime still hold high-ranking positions within the Regime, and Deprez stressed the importance of condemning the Regime for its crimes, both past and present, noting that the faces may change but the Regime remains the same.
The Iranian Regime is the godfather of fundamentalism according to Stevenson, but he said that just as the fall of the Soviet Union brought the collapse of communism, the overthrow of the mullah’s regime will bring an end to Islamic fundamentalist groups. It is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its extra-territorial arm, the Quds Force, that allow Iran to spread fundamentalism across the Middle East but they can be stopped through terrorist designations and additional sanctions.