Regarding expansion of diplomatic or economic relationship with Iran, she urged European nations not to expand their unless major improvements in Iran’s human rights situation took place. “Do not deal with the IRGC companies”, she said, referring to businesses tied to Iran’s military and intelligence services. “Such businesses only fuel the regime’s repressive machine in Iran and the war machine in Syria.”
President of European Parliament’s subcommittee on security and defense and former minister of foreign affairs of Poland (ECR), Anna Fotyga, shared her experiences to draw parallels between living under communist rule in Poland and the current situation in Iran. “I have my own experience of combating a regime that was vicious, and I know how difficult it is.” Many other Polish officials have also spoken at events urging human rights reforms in Iran.
Shabnam Madadzadeh spoke at the event. “You must hear the calls for justice of the mothers of the victims of the 1988 massacre. It is time to stand on the right side of history.” Madadzadeh, 29, was a political prisoner in Iran before her recent escape. “And unfortunately, the war crimes being committed in Syria and the situation of men, women and children in Aleppo is an inevitable shame in modern history. It is time to put an end to our silence”
MEP from France and a member of the Green party in parliament, José Bové, spoke to the Iranians present at the event, “Your place now is in Europe, and in this parliament you are welcome.” He added, “The government of Iran has a heavy responsibility for what is happening in Syria. The Syrian government would not have sustained itself without the support of Iran. The role of Hezbollah is well-known; today, Iran is one of the greatest generators of trouble in the Middle East.”
“We have heard a great deal of support for a principled approach to the Iranian regime, like a recent report that said that any political or economic progress in Iran must be linked to improvements in human rights; this has not happened. And your governments have ignored this insistence. Otherwise, human rights will fall victim to trade and realpolitik, and this is not our aim,” Tunne Kelam, a MEP from Estonia, said. “Do we prefer to continue daydreaming, assuming that some deals could be concluded with dictators whose regime has not changed? Our excuse has been that, ‘look, this is a reality, we have no alternatives; we have to deal with this regime.’ I can tell you that this is an illusion, and we are betraying not only Iranian people; we are betraying and deluding our own citizens,” Kelam added, “There is an alternative, and it is here; it is the only alternative I acknowledge. A clear alternative for a secular, non-religious Iran based on equality between women and men, based on friendship with all neighboring countries, and renouncing the nuclear weapons program. I think if we are really interested in peace and stability in the region, here at the European Union we have a moral commitment to support this alternative.”
Kelam concluded, “Making business must end when thousands and thousands of human beings die. We cannot not just go on condemning the actions; we have to become proactive and take steps to show the mollahs that we mean everything seriously, and we are serious. Therefore the first step must be the recognition of the democratic opposition to the rules of Iran, which is that National Council of Resistance of Iran led by Ms. Maryam Rajavi.”
Guilio Terzi, of the advisory Board of United Against Nuclear Iran and Italian Foreign Affairs Minister, also spoke at the event. “I’ve always been proud to promote the wisdom of my country and government in foreign policy, but in this occasion I cannot do this. The Italian government has taken a lead in the wrong direction. Each minister of Italy’s government…has announced over the last few months new programs with their Iranian counterparts.” Terzi continued, “According to [the false narrative spread by Iran], Rouhani is no longer a threat…and this has emboldened the Iranian regime.”
Maryam Rajavi’s speech at the conference, was published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
It is also published here, as follows:
Dear Mrs. McIntyre, Mr. Alejo-Vidal Quadras,
Honorable Members of the European Parliament,
My gratitude to the Friends of a Free Iran inter-parliamentary group for organizing this conference.
In three days, we will be marking the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For my country, Iran, the Human Rights Day is a reminder of the deep scar on my nation’s body and soul, with 120,000 executed dissidents and hundreds of thousands of tortured political prisoners.
With at least 5000 prisoners who are presently on the death row and human rights activists and followers of different faiths in prison.
Under the mullahs there is no respect for human rights.
For the world community and the European Union, unfortunately human rights in Iran is a victim of diplomacy and trade.
Under the rule of the Iranian regime every single article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been violated.
The right to life, the right to freedom, the right to security, the right to protection from torture and arbitrary arrests, the right to freedom of religion and faith…
The most horrific page in the record of this regime is the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in only a few months in 1988. This genocide was carried out upon a written edict by Khomeini.
The main perpetrators of this massacre are now among the regime’s leaders and senior officials.
In recent months, a growing movement has begun in Iran, demanding accountability and brining those responsible for the massacre to justice.
Last month, the Iranian Resistance made public the names of 110 individuals in charge of making decisions on the executions in Tehran and other provinces.
We also revealed information about 213 officials involved in the massacre in 35 cities, as well as the addresses of a number of secret mass graves in 12 provinces.
The European Union is now engaged in further expanding its diplomatic and business engagements with the Iranian regime.
The right approach, however, is to first assess the outcome of their present policy so far.
Let us review the outcome of the EU policy of recent years, from this standpoint:
Firstly, the European Union has stood aside and only watched the ongoing repression in Iran since Hassan Rouhani took office, justifying this approach as giving support to the moderates in Iran.
But did such silence lead to the progress of moderation in Iran? NO!
The outcome has been more executions under Rouhani and more aggressive policy in the region.
Secondly, the policy of ignoring the destructive role of the Iranian regime in Syria let alone cooperating with it, has proved to be a total failure in the fight against Daesh.
Thirdly, the mullahs were forced to take a step back in the nuclear negotiations under the pressure of social discontent in Iran, and international sanctions and because of their extreme weakness.
The P5+1 countries, however, gave so many illegitimate concessions to the mullahs.
They allowed the mullahs to maintain the structure of their bomb making system.
In addition, in return for the JCPOA, Western governments accepted some unwritten agreements with the mullahs, such as:
Freedom of sending IRGC troops to Syria,
Overlooking the regime’s ballistic missile tests despite UNSC resolution 2231,
Overlooking the Quds Force’s destructive role in Iraq,
And remaining silent on the violations of human rights in Iran.
Now, in their talks with the EU, senior officials of the Iranian regime declare that “retribution” and the death penalty are “red lines” for Tehran and could not be set aside in any form.
Is it not shameful to remain silent on such aggressive attitude of a criminal regime?
Governments’ excuse for their silence is to avoid meddling in Iran’s internal affairs.
If they oppose meddling in Iran, then they should not intervene in the interest of the Iranian regime, either.
Let me also add that such relations with this regime are counter to global peace and security and even the long term interests of the West.
This regime is surrounded by explosive social discontent in the country.
It lacks funds and is paralyzed.
The country’s banking system is bankrupt.
The economy is engulfed in fraud and money laundering and is not able to pull out of recession for a long time.
In addition, it is engulfed in expensive wars in the region with massive casualties.
Those who advocate such policy are not mindful of the extent to which the mullahs are vulnerable, and how much they need these deals with the West.
Therefore, no matter how much the mullahs are pressured to account for violations of human rights, they will not abandon Europe because of their urgent economic needs.
The mullahs’ regime has enjoyed huge concessions by the US government, for many years.
The US policy on Iran and the region had been based on rapprochement with the mullahs.
The disastrous consequences of this policy have been countless:
It destroyed Iraq/ created a human catastrophe in Syria /and blocked the road to change in Iran.
It is not without reason, that the ruling mullahs are so afraid of the end of this era, which they called, “a golden era.”
We have repeated this over the years, and I repeat, that the United States’ worst mistake in the region was appeasing the mullahs.
Today, the Iranian people and Resistance and the nations and governments in the region expect this policy to be revised and the U.S. stand firm against grave violation of human rights in Iran and its efforts to obtain nuclear bomb and meddling in the countries of the region.
From now on, the more the US and the EU distance themselves from this policy, the region would get closer to peace and tranquility.
We specifically urge the EU and its member states to:
1. Refer the Iranian regime’s 37-year record of crimes against humanity to the UN Security Council, and in the first step, condition expansion of their economic relations with Iran on end to executions.
2. Do not deal with the IRGC companies. Such businesses only fuel the regime’s repressive machine in Iran and the war machine in Syria.
3. Recognize the Iranian people’s desire to achieve freedom and democracy.
4. The Iranian regime is equally responsible for crime against humanity in Syria. The world must not remain silent about Iranian regime’s meddling in the region especially in Syria and should demand its immediate eviction.
I appreciate your continued support for the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran.
I would also like to sincerely thank you for your role in the successful relocation of PMOI members from Iraq to Europe.
We are confident that you will stand up to any form of appeasement of the religious dictatorship in Iran by ever stronger defense of freedom and human rights in our country.
You are on the right side of history.
It would not take long before the people of Iran and Europe would appreciate you for your principled policies.
I thank you all very much.