Strasbourg, 19 December 2019 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute praised the European Parliament for condemning Iran’s brutal repression of peaceful demonstrators. Spearheaded by Polish MEP Anna Fotyga on behalf of the conservative ECR Group and backed by six of the seven political groups, the resolution “Violent Crackdown on the Recent Protests in Iran” passed with an overwhelming majority by show of hands.
“We salute all those Members of the European Parliament from across the political spectrum who voted for this resolution,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, the Brussels-based EU Office of the American Jewish Committee. “Until now, the European Union has been incomprehensibly reticent to condemn the regime’s violence. When people fight for their freedom, the EU cannot remain silent. Today, Parliament said loud and clear that it stands with the people of Iran and not its oppressors,” Schwammenthal said.
According to human rights organizations, up to 1,500 Iranians may have been murdered by the regime in the past few weeks and thousands detained, facing abuse and torture. “Condemning the regime’s human rights abuses is a crucial first step that the EU ought to back up with concrete action, such as sanctioning regime officials and security services directly responsible for the mass killings, injuries and arrests,” Schwammenthal added.
“The protests are to a large degree triggered by the fact that the regime is squandering the country’s wealth to fund terror groups like Hezbollah, assist Assad in ethnically cleansing Syria, and export its brutal methods to the region,” Schwammenthal added. “Therefore, it is also high time for the EU, working closely with the U.S., to contain Iran’s aggression in the region. A first step would be to put the IRGC and Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, in its entirety on the terror list.”
Speaking at last night’s plenary debate, MEP Traian Băsescu, former President of Romania from the EPP Group said:
“We must also recognize that the EU in its dealings with Iran has become a hostage to the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement. That is the fact of the matter. And that is also the reason why we pretend not to notice that in their desire to become a regional power, they are doing these things.”
Speaking ahead of the debate, MEP Anna Fotyga said: “It is time to rethink our relationship with Iran. The international community cannot continue to engage with a country that is murdering its own people. Tehran’s barbaric crackdown shows us what the Ayatollahs and the Iranian Government are all about – personal power and wealth over the basic rights of their citizens. Their violent suppression is designed specifically to strike fear into the population and to prevent others from speaking up about the Government’s atrocities. We cannot continue to stand by and let this happen, our approach to the brutal Iranian regime must be revised immediately.”