13 Sep Speech of Beatriz Becerra about “Friends of a Free Iran”

Draft speech- Ms Beatriz BECERRA- Wednesday 13 September

VIDEO

Mr Chairman,

I am deeply worried about the continuous human rights violations in Iran. As vice-chair of the subcommittee for human rights in this parliament, I have repeatedly raised Iran’s human rights situation in various debates.

I think the current EU approach towards Iran is wrong and inconsistent. During the nuclear negotiations and especially after signing the deal with Iran in 2015, we have seen a near-total silence by EU on Iran’s human rights violations.

This has had a very negative effect both on the Iranian people, who feel EU cares only about business interests and not for human rights, as well as on the Iranian regime who feel that they can go on with the repression without any consequences.

We are now at the beginning of the 2nd term of Rouhani as president. In his first term more than 3000 people were hanged. So Iran became the number one executioner state in the world, per capita.

We have seen constant repression and humiliation of women, despite all his promises of moderation. Only in July this year more than 100 people were hanged in Iran. In August a young adolescent was hanged for a crime he had allegedly committed at the age of 15.

In these circumstances, Mrs Mogherini’s trip to Iran to endorse Rouhani’s 2nd term raises many questions. I personally protested to that visit and asked why human rights were not on the table.

This is so inconsistent with our European values. First of all, one thing that must be made clear. The elections in Iran under this regime has never been legitimate. Because an unelected body disqualifies all candidates except the most loyal to the regime.

According to the August report by UN Secretary General to the General Assembly, in the recent presidential elections in Iran a total of 1,636 individuals, including 137 women, submitted their names as candidates for president. But only 6 men were allowed to run. That means 99.63 percent of all registered candidates, including all women were disqualified. So Rouhani’s legitimacy as president is indeed very questionable. His new cabinet includes a new justice minister who has been on the EU sanctions list since 2011 for gross human rights violations.

I believe the EU must correct its policy. Mrs Mogherini must listen to the call of MEPs who insist that EU must condition its relations with Iran to an improvement of human rights and a halt to executions.

To conclude I wish to extend my support to the ten point plan of the opposition leader Maryam Rajavi whom I have met several times and admire very much. Her plan includes the end of death penalty in a future free Iran which is very encouraging to end this cycle of violence, hatred and revenge which exists in Iran and in the region.

Thank you