The Friends of Free Iran (FoFI) intergroup in the European Parliament held a virtual briefing on December 15, 2020, over the current situation in Iran, discussing the EU’s Iran policy. One of the main topics of the briefing was the recent prosecution of the Iranian regime’s diplomat and three of his accomplices charged with attempting to blow up the Free Iran gathering in June 2018 in France.
Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, president of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) and former vice president of the European Parliament chaired the conference.
Ambassador Giulio Terzi, former foreign minister of Italy, Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and Farzin Hashemi, representative of the Iranian opposition in the court in Antwerp, Belgium, spoke during the conference.
Dr. Milan Zver, MEP from Slovenia, FoFI co-chair, welcomed the participants and stressed that it is high time for the EU to take a more decisive position against the Iranian regime’s human rights violations and state terrorism. MEP Zver said: “In this regard, I support Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian opposition movement to restore democracy, justice and freedom in Iran.”
The participants underlined the ongoing human rights violations inside Iran and the regime’s use of terrorism abroad. They urged the European Union to adopt a firm policy vis-à-vis the regime.
The full-text of the FoFI’s press release in this regard, is as follows:
Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI)
The Friends of Free Iran (FoFI) intergroup in the European Parliament held a virtual briefing on Tuesday, 15 December 2020 on the current situation in Iran, discussing the EU policy on Iran. One of the main topics of the briefing was the recent prosecution of the Iranian regime’s diplomat and three of his accomplices charged with attempting to blow up the Free Iran gathering in June 2018 in France.
Several members of the European Parliaments from different political groups attended the briefing, expressed the views, and joined the discussion.
Dr. Milan Zver, MEP from Slovenia, FOFI co-chair, welcomed the participants and stressed that it is high time for the EU to take a more decisive position against the Iranian regime’s human rights violations and state terrorism. MEP Zver said, “In this regard, I support Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian opposition movement to restore democracy, justice and freedom in Iran.”
Ambassador Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy, Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and Farzin Hashemi, representative of the Iranian opposition in the court in Antwerp, Belgium, spoke during the conference.
In his presentation, Ambassador Terzi criticized the EU policy on Iran and said that after the findings of the judicial investigation in Belgium about the role of the Iranian regime in the terrorist plot against the NCRI annual gathering, the EU must review its policy on Iran and end business as usual with Tehran.
Offering an overall picture of the current situation in Iran, Mr. Mohaddessin said, “Today the world has a unique opportunity to deal once and for all with the Iranian regime, which has posed a major threat to regional and global peace and security. This is while the regime is at its weakest point and the Iranian people’s struggle to overthrow the theocracy has reached a historic milestone. The nationwide uprisings in 2018 and in November 2019 have shown that the Iranian people want change. In their protests in January 2020, Iranians were chanting “death to the dictator, whether the Shah or the leader,” signaling their desire for a democratic, pluralist republic in Iran.”
He added, “The experience of the past 41 years has made it clear that no amount of economic and political concessions can change the behavior of the ruling theocracy in Iran. The fact is that the regime is unwilling and incapable of changing its behavior. Human rights abuses and export of terrorism are part of the regime’s DNA, critical for preserving its rule.”
NCRI’s Foreign Affairs Committee chair stressed, “It is time after decades of appeasement, for the international community, especially the EU, to stand with the Iranian people and recognize their desire for freedom and democracy. The world community must simply hold the regime to account for its egregious behavior and adopt a firm policy.”
“All political and commercial ties with Tehran must be made contingent on a halt in executions and torture and respect for the rights of the Iranian people to express themselves freely and assemble without the feat or prospects of being shot or arrested,” Mr. Mohaddessin emphasized.
Mr. Hashemi provided a detailed report about the court proceedings in Belgium. He said that after 40 years of engaging in acts of terrorism, the Iranian regime and its so-called diplomat have been caught red-handed.
He explained that the decision for this terrorist act was taken at the National Supreme Security Council (SNSC), headed by Hassan Rouhani, and approved by Khamenei. The Minister of Intelligence and Security was assigned to implement the plan in coordination with, and cooperation of, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Javad Zarif, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister sits in the SNSC, which made the decision.
Based on undeniable facts, the nearly three-year investigation proved that Assadollah Assadi, the Iranian regime’s Vienna-based diplomat had brought the bomb from Iran via a commercial airline and then handed it over to the bombers with instructions on how to use it. The investigation also concluded that Assadi was acting on behalf of the Iranian regime and not in his personal capacity.
Mr. Hashemi concluded that while the court will render its judgement in January, given the undeniable evidence about the role of the Iranian regime in this terrorist plot, it was time to end the policy of appeasement which has only emboldened them to act with impunity.
Among the participating members of the European Parliament, Ms. Gianna Gancia, MEP from Italy stressed, “I think it is time for the EU to use sanctions mechanism against the regime and stand with the Iranian people instead of giving in to economic interests and making trade agreements.”
Mr. Hermann Tertsch, MEP from Spain stressed on the need for the EU to undertake a firm policy vis-à-vis the Iranian regime and expressed support for the Iranian people.
Mr. Marco Campomenosi, MEP from Italy added to the discussion by stressing his support for the people of Iran in their aspirations for a free and democratic country.
Summing up the conference, Dr. Vidal Quadras reiterated the call by Ambassador Terzi and other speakers for the adoption of a firm policy by the European Union on Iran.
Friends of Free Iran (FOFI)
16 December 2020
Friends of a Free Iran (FOFI) is an informal intergroup in the European Parliament which was formed in 2003 and enjoys the active support of many MEPs from various political groups