London, 24 Jun – A prominent European politician has written an op-ed for United Press International (UPI) explaining the threat Iran poses to the global community as well as its own citizens.
José Inácio Faria, a Portuguese member of the European Parliament (MEP), is one of the 270 MEPs who signed a statement condemning Iran’s horrific human rights abuses. They pleaded with Western governments, including the EU, to ensure that further relations with Iran are conditioned with progress on human rights.
Iran’s human rights record is appalling and draws criticism from international organisations for continuing executions, oppressing women and torturing their citizens.
Amnesty International’s annual report on the death penalty credited Iran with the highest number of executions per capita. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmad Shaheed, announced that Iran executed nearly 1,000 people in 2015 alone; the highest since 1988.
Despite the myth of moderateness that has surrounded Hassan Rouhani’s regime, since last year’s nuclear deal; Iran has been identified as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. State Department.
Their interference in the Syrian civil war to prop up the Bashar al-Assad regime has only prolonged the struggle of the Syrian resistance. Iran also persecutes its exiled citizens in Camp Liberty, Iraq, by blockading aid and targeting them with rocket attacks, in direct violation of the United Nations agreement.
Faria, who is also a member of Friends of a Free Iran group in the European Parliament, said: “Iran’s fingerprints are also deepening in Iraq, where Iranian-backed Shiite militias have recently been accused again by international rights organizations of systematic torturing and killing of the Sunni population in the battle to take over Fallujah. This will further alienate the Sunnis and drive them toward extremist groups such as the Islamic State.”
Members and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) will gather for a rally in Paris on 9 July. They will call on politicians from around the world to recognise the plight of the Iranian people and demand an end to executions and torture in the state.
Faria said: “Our essential values as Europeans ought to be reason enough for us to demand that Iran improves its domestic human rights as a price for any expansion in trade relations…if we refuse to respond to this situation, we will bear responsibility for the loss of innocent lives not only in Iran but also in Syria, Iraq and other places in the region where Iranian proxy fighters seek dominance.”