Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Third of EU Lawmakers Demand Sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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European Union member states’ flags flying in front of the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. (Reuters)

Brussels – Approximately a third of European Union parliamentarians issued a statement condemning Tehran’s human rights violations, demanding that new sanctions be imposed on Iran for its interference in regional turmoil.

“Today we are announcing the support of 265 members of the European Parliament for a joint statement on human rights in Iran,” it said.

They also called for the blacklisting of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is involved in multiple regional conflicts.

According to Amnesty International, “Iran alone accounted for 55 percent of all recorded executions” in the world in 2016.

Evidence by a senior cleric inside Iran confirmed that the current Iranian Justice Minister was a key member of the so-called “Death Committee” that approved the mass executions of over 30,000 political prisoners, including several thousand women, in Iran in 1988 – a massacre which Amnesty International has described as a crime against humanity. Most of the victims were affiliated with the opposition People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI).

“We therefore call on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council, to set up a commission of inquiry on the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran,” the statement from the European Parliament read.

A spokesman for the head of the Group of Friends of Iran in the European Parliament told Asharq Al-Awsat that the next step was to send a copy of the statement to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

The spokesman added that the group received positive feedback and expects to receive a positive response from Mogherini’s foreign policy coordinator.

As to whether Mogherini might push for additional punitive steps against Iran for human rights violations, the spokesman said he expected a positive response.

“It may take a few days or two weeks at most, until we get the response … but I do not know whether the response would include all the demands contained in the statement issued by the Group of Friends of Iran.”

The group called on their respective governments to moderate their relationships with the Iranian regime based on their human rights violations.

The signatories aligned themselves with the Iranian democratic opposition, led by Maryam Rajavi, who serves as a government-in-exile and have a ten-point plan to bring Iran in line with the Western world by championing free and fair elections, human rights and an end to political repression.