The Trump administration has also designated the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Reportedly, the international community desires European governments to back the blacklisting.
Firouz Mahvi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has said, “The situation of human rights in Iran is very bad. Many prisoners are executed in Iran, which according to Amnesty International, if we exclude China, more than 55% of the executions in the world took place in Iran under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani.” Then Mahvi asked, “So we should ask the European governments how can you have a normal relations with a government whose minister of justice is in the EU black list for human rights violations?”
Additionally, Els Van Hoof, a member of Foreign Affairs Committee in the Belgian Parliament at a conference for the Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians and Mayors for a Democratic Iran states, “Women are the most repressed in Iran. Thousands of female political prisoners have been executed by this regime only for refusing to accept the despotic rule of the mullahs. Many women suffer today in Iranian jails for speaking out for their rights.”
He added, “On the other hand, I wish to express my deep disappointment of the attitude of the EU and especially Federica Mogherini. She ignores repression against women in Iran and even went to Iran to take part in the ceremony for the second term of Rouhani. Such a policy of closing the eyes to human rights violations and the repression of women in Iran cannot be justified because Europeans want to do business with Iran.” According to Van Hoof, Europe should insist that expansion of their relationship with Iran should be conditioned to include a suspension of executions and measurable markers being achieved in relation to human rights and women’s rights.
The IRGC is believed to run most of Iran’s economy, through the control of companies both directly and indirectly, yet some European leaders encourage companies to invest in Iran, thus funding the IRGC and the regime’s activities. Regarding this, many have been critical of Federica Mogherini’s active relationship with Iran, despite the regime’s continued torture of political prisoners and lack of judicial due process.
For example, An Capoen, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Belgian Parliament has said, “I am deeply worried about the continuous human rights violations in Iran. We are now at the beginning of the 2nd term of Rouhani as president. He again became president after an unopposed election, which at least brings some questions. Even though Rouhani is considered a moderate in the West it is a fact that his first term more than 3000 people were hanged. This makes Iran the highest number of executions in the world, per capita.” Capoen continued, “That is why I am confused and very frustrated, about the way Mrs. Mogherini is dealing with Iran. She encourages people to invest in Iran and in the meantime, remains silent about the human rights violations and repression of women in Iran. This silence by EU’s foreign policy chief, is extremely damaging for the reputation of Europe and is in the benefit of the theocratic state of the mullahs who become encouraged to carry on their repressive rule.”
Although the regime has attempted to appear more moderate, has not really changed its leadership in the past 30 years, as noted by Capoen.
So, while the US is saying “no more” to the Iranian regime, Europe appears content to continue the appeasement policy.