Time for Zero tolerance of Iran

Strasbourg- 16 February 2011

TIME FOR ZERO TOLERANCE OF IRAN

Having congratulated the people of Tunisia and Egypt for their uprisings, Ayatollah Khamenei should not have been surprised that the citizens of Iran took to the streets this week in their hundreds of thousands to protest against his brutal, fascist dictatorship of their country. But nor should we in the West have been surprised that this corrupt gangster and his evil henchman Ahmadinejad returned to form by brutally crushing the uprising, killing and injuring many protesters and arresting hundreds who will no doubt now face torture and execution in the regime’s dungeons.

 

There is a serious danger that the vacuum created by the uprisings across the Middle East may now be exploited by the Iranian regime to spread their own cancerous brand of Fascist Islam across the region. Years of Western appeasement, driven by greed and avarice for Iranian contracts, are now being rewarded by the spectacle of a nuclear armed Iran de-stabilising the Middle East and posing a threat to global security.

We were quick to express our support for the courageous citizens who overthrew President Hosni Mubarak and President Zine Ben Ali and yet when it comes to confronting the worlds’ most malevolent and criminal regime, we are like rabbits caught in the headlights, paralysed with fear. Why have we not expressed our solidarity with the courageous people of Iran who took to streets on Monday? Why have we not condemned the vicious suppression of the uprising and demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners?

It is risible that the mullahs in Tehran are now trying to blame the PMOI (MEK) for the deaths and injuries that occurred during Monday’s protests, ludicrously claiming that supporters of this key opposition movement opened fire on the crowds. The mullahs have an obsessive fear and loathing of the PMOI which has even extended across the border into Iraq, where their lackeys in Baghdad lay siege to Camp Ashraf, home to 3400 Iranian dissidents, subjecting them to constant siege and psychological torture in breach of all humanitarian mores.

The European Parliament has twice now formally expressed its support for the unarmed refugees in Camp Ashraf.

We should no longer be prepared to tolerate their on-going cruel mistreatment by the Iraqi authorities at the behest of the Iranian mullahs. If Iraq continues to ignore the EU then it is time we re-visited the 1.1 billion Euros aid that we have provided for rebuilding that country and our continued financial commitment to Iraqi reconstruction.

The ‘kid-glove’ approach must end. Why do we stand idly by while political prisoners in Iran, even including recently an EU citizen, are tortured and executed?
 
Europe and America must awaken from their collective torpor over IRAN. We must demand effective sanctions against the mullahs’ regime and replace our failed policy of appeasement with a campaign of zero tolerance.
 
STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP
Chair, Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup in the European Parliament

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