Iran Focus: Brussels, Feb. 23 As U.S. President George W. Bush made his first tour of Europe after winning his second term in office, dozens of European parliamentarians called on Europe and the United States to develop a unified strategy to stop the Islamic Republic in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran Focus
Brussels, Feb. 23 As U.S. President George W. Bush made his first tour of Europe after winning his second term in office, dozens of European parliamentarians called on Europe and the United States to develop a unified strategy to stop the Islamic Republic in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The parliamentarians who included two vice-Presidents of the European Parliament announced their collective opinion in today’s edition of the International Herald Tribune.
“The prospects of nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran’s fundamentalist theocratic regime is a clear threat to regional and global peace and security. Yet, no one wants to see another military conflict in this tormented region. President George W. Bush’s visit to Europe is a chance for tans-Atlantic consensus on the need to support democratic change in Iran. We have been encouraged by the words of President Bush to the Iranian people in his State of the Union address, when he said: ‘As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you’,” parts of their declaration read.
“We agree with Mrs Maryam Rajavi, leader of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, who said at the European Parliament: ‘There is a third option beside appeasement of the mullahs or foreign military intervention: change brought about by the Iranian people and resistance’,” it added.
The parliamentarians went on to voice their opposition to the EU’s appeasement of the Iranian regime and called for the removal of the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin, from the Europe’s terror list, citing President Bush’s recent remarks concerning the role of the Iranian opposition in revealing Iran’s clandestine nuclear program to the international community.
Those making the call included Alejo Vidal-Quadras, First vice-President of the European Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott, vice-President of the EP, Paulo Casaca, President of the EP delegation to Nato, and Struan Stevenson, co-Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran parliamentary group.
“The Iranian regime must end its support for terrorism and must not develop nuclear weapons In Iran the free world shares a common goal for the sake of peace”, Bush said in the speech Monday during his trip to Europe.
Washington and the 25-nation European Union both want Tehran to scrap uranium enrichment, a process which can be used to make fuel for nuclear power plants or bomb-grade material.
He added, “We are working closely with Britain, France and Germany as they oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions and as they insist that Tehran comply with international law. The results of this approach now depend largely on Iran”.
French President Jacques Chirac yesterday urged President Bush to aid European negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program by offering trade incentives.
“It seems to me legitimate to make a gesture in the area of Iran’s bid for WTO membership and wish to buy civil aircraft engines”, Chirac said during a news conference after talks with Bush on Monday night.
Bush has not responded to Chirac’s comments thus far.