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By Gérard Deprez

One issue which unites politicians from all sides of the spectrum in Europe is the need to tackle Iran’s appalling human rights abuses and export of terrorism and religious extremism.

Today we announced the support of 265 Members of the European Parliament for a joint statement on human rights in Iran. My colleagues who have signed the statement are from all political groups and tendencies in the European Parliament. They include four Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament and 23 Committee and Delegation Chairs. This clearly shows that when the issue of human rights violations, repression of women and minorities and the Iranian regime’s support of terrorism are concerned, we are all united.

Recently the Iranian regime held a presidential election. In our view this was a fake election because there were no opposition candidates, and people just had a choice of choosing between several senior mullahs and Revolutionary Guards. Hassan Rouhani, who will soon start his second term as President, is no moderate or reformist. During his first four years in office, Iran was the number one in the world for the highest number of executions per capita.

Rouhani’s minister of justice is a self-confessed murderer who was a member of the Death Committee, ordering the executions of over 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, mostly from the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK).

Therefore in our statement we have called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council to set up a commission of inquiry into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

We have called on our European governments to condition their relationships with Iran to a halt to executions and a clear progress on human rights and women rights.

Also, we are very much concerned by the destructive role of the Iranian regime in the region. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is mainly active in Syria and Iraq and must be put on the international terrorist lists.

The IRGC also runs most of the Iranian economy. So our European companies who want to sign economic deals with Iran take a high risk of dealing directly and indirectly with the IRGC which is really a terrorist organization.

In order to express our solidarity with the Iranian democratic opposition, I plan to attend the Free Iran gathering in Paris on 1 July where I will present the support of 265 Members of the European Parliament for this joint declaration.  We strongly encourage our European governments and the European Union to follow our statement.


[toggler title=”Gérard Deprez MEP” ]Gérard Deprez, an MEP from Belgium, is President of Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament[/toggler]