European parliament members want to sanction Iran for human rights

Ryszard Henryk Czarnecki, a Polish MEP, said the “terrorist regime” in Iran shows “no mercy for its citizens.”

European Union and Poland's flags flutter (photo credit: INTS KALNINS / REUTERS)
European Union and Poland's flags flutter
(photo credit: INTS KALNINS / REUTERS)
A group of lawmakers from the European Parliament on Wednesday recommended linking trade with Iran’s regime to improvements in Tehran’s atrocious human rights record.
Italian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Alessandra Moretti said at the session in Strasbourg, France, that “Iran is a country where women are imprisoned for being women,” and economic deals with the regime should be “conditioned on respect for human rights.” first reported on the lawmakers urging that the EU punish Iran’s clerical regime.
Polish MEP Ryszard Henryk Czarnecki said that the “terrorist regime” in Iran shows “no mercy for its citizens.”
Spanish MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar documented the case of an Iranian woman, Sahar Khodayari, often called the “Blue Girl,” after the colors of her favorite soccer club, Esteghlal FC.
Khodayari was charged with “appearing in public without a hijab” after she sought to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium dressed as a man so she could view a soccer match last March. In protest against her possible sentence, she lit herself on fire in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran in September, and died of her burns a week later.
The Spanish lawmaker said this is “absolutely shocking” and it is a “duty of members of the European Parliament to make the case for women’s rights” in Iran.
Italian MEP Gianna Gancia said that, “representatives of Europe seem only to be interested in business and trade with Iran. The EU Commission should stop relations with Iran and impose sanctions on the regime for violations of human rights. We want democratic change in Iran.”
“The Iranian people do not want this regime,” declared British MEP Anthea McIntyre.
Rama Yade, the former French secretary for human rights, said Iran has become an “open air prison” and the “Iran nuclear agreement does not work.”
The European lawmakers’ demands to sanction Iran’s regime followed a presentation by Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK – holy-war fighters for the people), who introduced a new book published by her organization, titled Crimes Against Humanity.
The book details Iran’s massacre over five months in 1988 of thousands of political prisoners, the majority of whom were from the PMOI. Marxist Iranian prisoners were also executed. Up to 30,000 prisoners are estimated to have been executed.
The US government classified the PMOI as a terrorist organization in 1997 but removed the designation in 2012.
Writing in The National Interest in March, the American Enterprise Institute’s Iran expert, Dr. Michael Rubin, said: “Herein lies the biggest problem with treating the MEK as anything more than a pariah: because Iranians hate the group for its history, previous actions and past allegiances, the current Islamic Republic will utilize the MEK to delegitimize any movement or group of which they are part.”
Rubin wrote that “what really broke any remaining popular support for the MEK among ordinary Iranians, however, was their embrace of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s regime against the backdrop of the Iran-Iraq War. For most Iranians, the MEK-Saddam relationship is unforgivable.”
The institute’s scholar added that “indeed, many Iranians continue to insist that the only thing worse than the regime under which they suffer now would be the MEK.”
Rubin, who spent time in Iran during the presidencies of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, wrote that “there was only one item that united Iranians inside Iran: absolute hatred of the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK).”
The MEK, whose political ideology was founded on a mixture of Marxism and Islamism, trained with the PLO and under the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.