NewsSpecial WireIran’s Majlis Speaker cancels trip to Europe in protest

Iran’s Majlis Speaker cancels trip to Europe in protest

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Iran Focus: Tehran/Paris, Oct. 04 – Iran’s Majlis Speaker cancelled at the last minute a trip to the Council of Europe (COE) in the French city of Strasbourg in protest to a visit there earlier this week by the clerical theocracy’s main foe, state media reported on Thursday. Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel was scheduled to address the Council at 3 p.m. Parisian time.
Iran Focus

Tehran/Paris, Oct. 04 – Iran’s Majlis Speaker cancelled at the last minute a trip to the Council of Europe (COE) in the French city of Strasbourg in protest to a visit there earlier this week by the clerical theocracy’s main foe, state media reported on Thursday. Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel was scheduled to address the Council at 3 p.m. Parisian time.

Haddad-Adel, whose daughter is married to the son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was to address the COE in his capacity as rotating chairman of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA).

The official news agency IRNA reported that the Iranian Majlis Speaker had cancelled his trip due to the “dual behaviour of COE officials in their alleged fight against terrorism”, adding that “certain COE officials” had recently met with the leader of the Monafeqin [the Iranian government’s term for the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) opposition group”>.

Maryam Rajavi, who leads the clerical theocracy’s largest opposition coalition, spoke at the Council of Europe on Monday at the invitation of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) Parliamentary Group.

Rajavi, who has been nominated by the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as interim president for the transitional period following the demise of the current regime, told the Christian Democrats’ session that the EU’s “policy of appeasement vis-à-vis the Iranian regime” had failed and had only “emboldened the mullahs”.

In a stern message to EU leaders, Rajavi said, “The time has come for you to open your eyes and ears. Do not the pave the way for a devastating war through the policy of appeasement”. She added, “European governments must be accountable to their own people for the failure of their policy”.

“The mullahs are determined to continue with their extremist policy. They have no intention of abandoning their rogue behaviour. Negotiation is only a cover for the Iranian regime to continue its current policy”, she said.

Touching on the solutions to the Iranian conundrum, Rajavi rejected foreign military intervention as well as further negotiations with the regime which she said Tehran would use as an opportunity to buy time to acquire a nuclear bomb. She offered a “third option”: change brought about in Iran and an “end to the religious dictatorship there” through the Iranian people and their organised resistance.

“The world must recognise this reality that the mullahs’ regime lacks the capacity for any flexibility. Any retreat on their part would be the beginning of the end of the regime”, Rajavi said while urging the UN Security Council to immediately adopt a new resolution, imposing comprehensive sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear defiance.

The MeK, the NCRI’s largest member organisation, was listed as a terrorist organisation by the European Union in mid-2002, in what the EU’s then-Spanish leadership called “a goodwill gesture to Tehran”.

In December 2006, the European Court of First Instance annulled the EU’s decision to place the group in the list and described the freeze on its financial assets as “unlawful”.

“The decision by Haddad-Adel to cancel his trip will send powerful shockwaves in both European and Asian circles”, said Ali Hajilou, an Iranian affairs analyst based in Dubai. “EU leaders will have to re-evaluate the significance of the Mujahedin-e Khalq given the brash reaction of the regime to Rajavi’s visit”.

Haddad-Adel was replaced at the Council of Europe on Thursday by the Indonesian Parliament Speaker.

In what appeared to be an effort to minimise the damage of Haddad-Adel’s failure to take part at the COE, state media briskly announced that the Iranian Majlis Speaker would travel to Geneva, Switzerland, next week to address the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

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