Staff writer, SF
On 6th December, MEPs and political figures discussed several issues relating to Iran, in particular its human rights record.
MEP and President of the Friends of a Free Iran (FOFI) group Gérard Deprez spoke about Iran’s alarming execution rate and emphasised that the situation has shown no signs of improvement over the course of more than three decades. He emphasised the importance of ensuring that the Iranian regime is held accountable for the crimes it has committed, especially the 1988 massacre that is classed as one of the worst crimes in modern history. Deprez pointed out that the Iranian regime will not change.
Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the democratic opposition, was praised by the speakers for her “brave” and “strong” leadership and her 10-point plan that calls for a free and secular Iran. She said that the true nature of the Iranian regime was exposed last month following the devastating earthquake that struck the country. Instead of sending relief to the people, suppressive forces were sent out to make sure that the people didn’t voice their disgust at the government. Rajavi explained that the country is on the brink of financial collapse and that hundreds of people are taking to the streets every week to protest against the regime’s plundering of their money.
With regards to how the EU can help the people of Iran, Rajavi recommended that no concessions are given to Iran because they don’t work. She said that trade with Iran must be conditioned on a full halt to executions, that the IRGC must be evicted from all the countries it is meddling in and that its ballistic missile program is stopped. If Iran does not comply, it should be subjected to harsh consequences and must be excluded from the international banking system.
Other speakers at the event included Anna Fotyga, an MEP from Poland, Struan Stevenson, a former Conservative MEP for Scotland and ex-chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup, Polish politician and MEP Ryszard Czarnecki, Mark Demesmaeker, an MEP from Belgium, and Vice chair of the British Conservative Party and MEP, Anthea McIntyre, among others.
McIntyre said that Mogherini, the EU High Commissioner, is either ignoring or forgetting that Iran treats its own people very poorly. She said that in August, Mogherini went to Iran for the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani as he started his second term. Mogherini stood beside a top official from North Korea and the recently-ousted Robert Mugabe and cheered on the president that mistreats the people of Iran and is involved in some horrific acts of terrorism. She said that Mogherini is calling Iran a “crucial partner” to the EU but points out that this is not representative of the views of Europeans who think the opposite.
Stevenson also expressed is disappointment in Mogherini’s treatment of the Iran, reminding her that the Iranian regime is a “very corrupt government”. He called his colleagues to remember that the people of Iran want a secular, free and democratic country and that it is the EU’s role to make sure that these rights are upheld in all dealings with Iran.