European and U.S. politicians demand firm stance on Iran

EFE  – 25 Jan 2011 – A number of European and U.S. politicians today called for a firm stance against the Iranian regime over its nuclear program, although there was no consensus on the need to pursue diplomatic channels to stop its intentions to acquire nuclear weapons.

At an international conference held today in Brussels, an international panel of politicians discussed the Iranian nuclear program three days after the negotiations ended without agreement between Iran and the P5 +1 countries (U.S., Russia, China , France, Britain and Germany) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Gen. James Jones, former US National Security Adviser, defended the role of the U.S. administration in the negotiations and referred to the sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council as “the largest ever imposed” on a state. In his opinion, the sanctions will put pressure on the Iranian government.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said that while “the Iranian government does not take negotiations seriously, we must continue dialogue and diplomacy.”

His views were different from those of another former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey (both members of the administrations of George W. Bush), who have pointed out that Iran has no intention of reaching an agreement because it wants to develop nuclear weapons. They argued that sanctions have not worked in the past.

In the same vein, the Spanish Member of the European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras argued that the diplomatic route pursued so far is “not working” because Iran is now “closer” to developing nuclear weapons.

In addition to Vidal-Quadras, other MEPs and parliamentarians from various countries of the European Union participated in the event to demand an end to the negotiations.

However, there was unanimity among the attendees in asking the American administration to follow the example of the EU and remove from its list of terrorist organizations the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the main democratic opposition in Iran.

[The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran] Maryam Rajavi said that “neither war nor appeasement” will suffice to end the “religious dictatorship” in Iran, and called for imposing an oil embargo and recognizing the organization as “democratic opposition” to the regime of the ayatollahs.

Attendees also criticized the situation of Iranian refugees in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where the PMOI is headquartered.

Both the Iranian resistance and human rights organizations like Amnesty International (AI) have reported attacks by Iraqi security forces against civilians living in the country with the consent of the authorities.

Judge Fernando Andreu of the Spanish National Court declared on January 4 that the court has authority to investigate an attack on Ashraf, because Iraq did not inform him about who is investigating the attacks.

 

 

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