London, 6 Dec – In advance of the international Human Rights Day, members of the parliament of the European Union 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.
On Wednesday, December 6, the Friends of a Free Iran (FOFI) intergroup met in Brussels to discuss 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. 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.
McIntyre said: “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.”
Becker said: “We should be loud in telling the regime that enough is enough; time has come for their accountability. All relations with Iran must be conditioned on an end to executions.”
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.
Štefanec said: “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.”
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.
Deprez said: “The Regime today is the same as the one in 1988, only the faces change.”
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.”
Becker said: “We in the European Parliament are obliged to help you and I pledge to do my best. I address the women of Iran and tell them: Keep up fighting. We know you and we support you”
Stevenson brought up the case of British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari Radcliffe, who is being held on bogus charges in Iran. She is one of many falsely imprisoned in Iran.
Resistance and Protest
The Iranian people have long stood up against the Iranian Regime and Rajavi indicated that the situation was not reaching an explosive point, especially following the recent earthquake, which highlighted the Regime’s corruption and fear over popular protests.
She said: “A nationwide protest movement has been going on for one year and growing by people whose assets have been plundered by financial institutes licensed by the government. On numerous occasions, these protests have turned into political protests against the entire regime.”
Czarnecinki spoke of the relocation of Iranian dissidents to safety in Albania and noted that the Regime had sent a delegation to the country o spread misinformation and incite violence against the Iranians because they were upset that the Resistance was being supported.
Support for Iranian Resistance
All of the panel members expressed their personal support for the Iranian Resistance and especially Rajavi’s 10-point-plan for the future of a free Iran.
Czarnecki and Deprez said that they, along with hundreds of colleagues in EU Parliament, supported Rajavi’s 10 point plan.
Deprez said that Rajavi’s fight for human rights was remarkable and called on all democratic people in the west to support the Iranian resistance.
Demesmaeker said: “In Iran, we have a very competent and ready democratic alternative led by Mrs. Rajavi. We saw the support for Mrs. Rajavi when 100,000 supporters gathered in Paris… Rajavi’s ten-point plan calls for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran.”
The conference also discussed the Iranian Regime’s nefarious regional conduct, support of terrorism, and dangerous ballistic missile programme. This includes the mobilisation of the IRGC, and the dispatch of Afghan refugee to the Syrian war.
One of the key points that the conference agreed on, is that regime change is needed in Iran.