Khamenei has ordered seven thousand more “morality police” in Tehran to target women who are mal-veiled and has ordered more crackdowns on social media and the press.

Stevenson said that as Western countries applaud the Iranian regime’s President Hassan Rouhani, we must not forget that since he took office in 2013 over 2,300 men and 66 women have been executed in the country, many of which were hanged in public. He reminded that last month alone over 57 people were hanged and a woman was publically flogged in the city of Golpayegan. A young man, already blinded by the regime in one eye, has been sentenced to be blinded in the other eye and all because he wouldn’t pay “blood money” to the alleged victim. A 39-year-old man had his fingers amputated earlier this month after being accused of theft. Stevenson said: “This is the nature of law and justice in the rotten and decaying regime of velayat-e-faqih (absolute clerical rule), dominated by the fascist mullahs.”

He highlights that now the West is keen to work with the regime, “drooling at the prospect of rich profits to be reaped following the ending of sanctions in the wake of the nuclear deal”. Last month Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was in Iran with seven EU commissioners to discuss trade and areas of cooperation. During this trip there was no comment about the “human rights abuse, the oppression of women, the suppression of workers, the imprisonment of journalists and the barbaric punishments that have become an everyday occurrence”.

“We are still spellbound by Iran,” Stevenson said. “We are still pursuing the failed policy of appeasement of the mullahs. President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was pushed through to secure his footnote in history. He swept aside all warnings and fears and signed an agreement that effectively ended sanctions on Iran and released billions of dollars of frozen assets, providing a windfall for a government that was teetering on the brink of economic collapse. But far from investing in its own people, the mullah-led regime has used this money to redouble its spending on weapons and on exporting terror through Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Quds Force, both of which are listed terrorist organizations in the West and both of which are involved in almost every conflict in the Middle East, particularly in Syria.”

Stevenson mentioned Rouhani’s trip to Kerman in South-Eastern Iran last week where he heaped praise on Qasem Soleimani, the Quds Force commander – a leading terrorist who has been involved with some of the most horrendous atrocities seen in Iraq and Syria.

The West is wanting to make deals with a country that is ruled by theocracy and with a regime that supplies arms, money and military personnel to Middle Eastern conflict zones. 

Stevenson called on Western companies to realise that “when dealing with Iran, they are effectively dealing with the Revolutionary Guards Corps”. Iran’s economy, he explained, is largely controlled by Khamenei’s gang and the IRGC. “Trading with this deeply corrupt regime is a high-risk venture; the absence of political and economic stability make investing in Iran a precarious business. Any money the regime gets is quickly rolled over into warmongering and terrorism.”

Stevenson highlighted that the Iranian opposition recently revealed that after the nuclear deal was signed, Tehran contributed several billion dollars to Assad so he could purchase weapons from Russia, allowing him to continue his bloody civil war in Syria. “Our governments would do well to think long and hard before they do business with Tehran. Those who put profits before people and human rights will not be quickly forgotten when this criminal regime is toppled and freedom and democracy are restored in Iran.”

Stevenson is a former member of the European Parliament and former chair of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq.