Iran General NewsMEP condemns invitation to Iranian

MEP condemns invitation to Iranian


Press Association: A Scottish MEP has attacked a decision to invite Iran’s foreign minister to address a European Parliament committee in Brussels.

The Press Association

A Scottish MEP has attacked a decision to invite Iran’s foreign minister to address a European Parliament committee in Brussels.

A day after launching a verbal assault on Mannouchehr Mottaki and storming out of a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson said: “This is not the place to allow despots and representatives of fascist regimes to peddle their views.”

The MEP branded the Iranian foreign minister a “murderer” during angry scenes outside the Parliament.

Scuffles broke out as a group of MEPs, including Mr Stevenson, staged the protest against Mr Mottaki’s presence and waved posters of murdered Iranian student Neda Agha Soltan, shot dead by security forces during demonstrations accusing the Iranian regime of rigging last year’s election.

Mr Stevenson went into the meeting shouting at Mr Mottaki: “Your fascist brand of Islam abuses women, rapes, tortures and executes men, women and children, executes political prisoners and peaceful protesters, falsifies election results, lies about the development of nuclear weapons and finances, arms and trains terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.

“You have repeated your lies about nuclear weapons here, today, in this committee.”

The MEP, who is President of the European Parliament’s delegation on Iraq relations, said it was “a disgrace” that Mr Mottaki was allowed to enter the European Parliament, adding: “Everything you stand for runs counter to our core principles.”

Mr Stevenson was unapologetic and said he received “a flood of emails” backing his stance – most of them from inside Iran.

He said: “I didn’t stay to hear any reply from Mottaki. I just said he claimed to come from a country that has the world’s oldest declaration of human rights in its archives and I asked him whether the death of Neda was the latest chapter in Iran’s human rights history. Then I walked out.”

Mr Stevenson said it was possible that he would face a formal complaint about his behaviour, but said he had been “in good company” during the protest, which included Parliament vice-president Alejo Vidal-Quadras.

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