Forget the EU-led folly, Iran's regime is not our friend - MEP
NCRI Staff

NCRI - The European Union has "led the world into a dangerous policy of appeasement on Iran by heading up the ‘E3+3’ or ‘P5 + 1’ (the permanent members of the Security Council including the UK, plus Germany)," argues David Campbell-Bannerman, a Member of the European Parliament from the United Kingdom.

Writing in The Times of London on January 15, 2018, Mr. Campbell-Bannerman stated: "Over the past few weeks we have witnessed chaotic scenes on the streets of Iran, which has resulted in the sad loss of protesters’ lives during a series of anti-government demonstrations."

"This unrest reportedly stretches across many cities and towns from Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, to Rasht in the north, Kermanshah in the west, to the capital Tehran itself. Yet the West is reluctant to comment because of the so-called nuclear deal."

Mr. Campbell-Bannerman pointed out: "It is hypocritical for the EU enthusiastically to pursue an Iran trade deal."

He added that US President Donald Trump is right to deeply question the Iran deal and to propose the return of US sanctions against the regime.

The US President's recent approval of targeted sanctions against several Iranian government officials for corruption and human rights abuses — some linked to the recent demonstrations — is a welcome move, Mr. Campbell-Bannerman said.

He said: "The worst folly has been thinking of Iran as a friend now, just because it has agreed some time-limited and ineffective controls on its nuclear programme that merely delay but do not stop the march towards a nuclear bomb."

"Britain has meekly followed this EU-led idiocy, and President Obama’s legacy-seeking, like a lapdog following a master. Britain must free itself from this naive 'groupthink' and fundamentally rethink and create a new independent foreign policy on Iran."

"The concentration on the nuclear deal has come at the price at unfreezing massive Iranian assets (at least $100 billion, maybe $150 billion) that are now being put to malign use right across the Middle East in a way that would have made Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi envious."

"The Iranian riots are reported to be in part due to dissatisfaction over heavy Iranian involvement in foreign wars and are also an indicator that sanctions work, and that further economic pain could be enough for the good, intelligent, sophisticated, technologically-minded people of Iran to dispense with their clerical tormentors."

Mr. Campbell-Bannerman highlighted the destabilizing activities by the Iranian regime in the region, including atrocities against Sunni Muslims in Iraq. "In Syria, Iran funds an army of a quarter of a million soldiers. In Bahrain, Iran is the malign force behind regular unrest against its rulers, with deaths of policemen and civilians and unjustified claims on the state as its own. In Gaza, Iran finances Hamas."

Mr. Campbell-Bannerman added: "I was shown by the Iranian Resistance under Maryam Rajavi (I don’t take sides; but I do take note) a compendium of 30,000 names, ranks, salaries of Republican Guard loyalists sent into Iraq to destabilise it after it was liberated from Saddam Hussein."

"In Qatar, relations have worsened with Gulf ally states such as Kuwait and the UAE — over allegations of Qatar supporting terrorism — while having cosy relations with Iran. In Lebanon, Saad al-Hariri, the prime minister, was forced to flee because he feared the Iranians would kill him just as they did his father accusing Iran of spreading fear and destruction in several countries."

"These are not pipe bombs or some New Year fireworks — the consequence could be a major new war."

"Now as ballistic missiles fall on Saudi Arabia’s main Riyadh airport (what would happen if it had hit a packed aircraft?) And others are intercepted en route to the capital, we have to ask whether the ill-equipped Houthi rebels in Yemen are capable of such technology?"

"The left in the EU and in Britain are zealots in attacking the Saudis and in seeking to deny them military hardware and training to improve accuracy, but are blind to the Iranians playing them as Lenin-like 'useful idiots'."

"The Iranian Resistance Movement allege that senior left-wing figures are in the pay of Iran’s Mullahs."

"There are reliable reports too that Iranian scientists stand side by side with North Korean scientists at their ballistic missile tests: how useful to them both to share such technology and to make their missiles more effective? Two rogue states hand in hand, except the Iranians are meant to be our friends."

"The West has simply been suckered by Iran time and time again. But the lesson must be that if this malicious clerical regime, this septic octopus with tentacles wrapped around the Middle East and beyond, has to beg a lifeline from the West to stay alive we must resolutely and unhesitantly refuse."

"If Mugabe can be toppled in 2017, let’s earnestly hope we can see the end of Iran’s evil Mullah regime in early 2018," the op-ed added.

David Campbell-Bannerman is a Conservative MEP and chairman of the Iraq delegation of the European Parliament.