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Europe Needs to Back U.S. in Blacklisting IRGC

The #UnitedStates has changed its policy with the incoming new administration. The #Trump administration has not certified the actions of the Iranian regime, thus putting Congress into the position of deciding within 60 days whether or not to reimpose the #sanctions that had been lifted through the 2015 nuclear agreement. In addition, the Trump administration has designated the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. This blacklisting course of action is one that many within the international community wish the European governments would back this policy shift with one of their own.

“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,” said Firouz Mahvi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). “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?”

Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)

The IRGC is also part of the horrible human rights record of Iran. They have also contributed to many terrorist organizations and militias outside of the regime. The IRGC also runs most of Iran’s economy, through the control of companies, both directly and indirectly.

Yet, in spite of these records, some European leaders keep encouraging companies to go to invest in Iran, thus funding the IRGC and the regime’s activities. This is contrary to the best interests of the Iranian people and in fact, supports the regime’s ability to stay in power even longer. There are also specific groups that are receiving even more intense oppression by the theocracy run by the Supreme Leader.

“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,” said 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. “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.”

Van Hoof also indicated that Europe should insist that any expansion of their relationship should be conditioned to include a suspension of executions and measurable markers being achieved in relation to human rights and women’s rights.

Others have been extremely critical of Federica Mogherini, the EU representative who has been active in maintaining a relationship with Iran, despite the regime’s continued torture of political prisoners and lack of judicial due process.

Europe should end appeasing policy with Iran

“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,” said An Capoen, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Belgian Parliament. “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.”

She also noted that the regime has not really changed its leadership in the past 30 years, even though the regime has attempted to appear more moderate. In the end, the regime is not any different and their focus has always been about protecting its source of power.

The problem is that Europe isn’t standing up and saying no more to the Iranian regime. Instead, they appear ready to continue the appeasement policy of the past. It is time for that to end and the Iranian regime to be sent a strong message that the international community is not going to take these actions lying down anymore.

About Siavosh Hosseini (213 Articles)
My background is in the visual arts, particularly in photojournalism. I have had the opportunity to cover scores of international artistic and news events in the US and across Europe since the mid-1980s. I was active in television newsrooms and production as a graphic designer and producer for more than 12 years in different television and news outfits in Europe.

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