Need for Talks on EU Human Rights Sanctions

Need for Talks on EU Human Rights Sanctions Need for Talks on EU Human Rights Sanctions

A lawmaker said the Foreign Ministry should enter into negotiations with the European Union to encourage the removal of the bloc's human rights sanctions against Tehran, which have recently been extended for another year.    

Deputy Chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour made the statement in an interview with ICANA on Friday.

The European Union announced on Monday it had extended sanctions against 82 Iranian officials until April 13, 2017, because of the alleged "human rights situation" in Iran.

The 28-nation bloc has had asset freezes and travel bans in place against Iranians since 2011, because of perceived violations of human rights.

Haqiqatpour said although the extension of human rights sanctions is not against the EU's commitments under the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, it was "unexpected".

The measure came despite a recent improvement of relations as a result of the nuclear pact, which has prompted European governments to push for renewing relations with Tehran, eying to tap its lucrative market.

Even with the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran after the deal went into effect on January 16, a host of other sanctions, linked to missiles and human rights accusations, remain in place.

"We should take measures to terminate EU's human rights sanctions," he said. "The Foreign Ministry should prepare the ground for talks with Europeans to discuss the termination of these sanctions."

  Inconsistent Step

Nozar Shafiei, another member of the commission, said he believes the extension of human rights sanctions violates the spirit of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally called.

"The JCPOA promotes cooperation between Iran and P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany), so any measure against [such favorable conditions] is inconsistent with the nuclear accord," he told ICANA on Friday.

The Monday move came after UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed presented a report on the Islamic Republic last month, accusing Tehran of rights violations.

Iran slammed the report as having been compiled "based on the viewpoints of a few countries and with the aim of targeting other countries by exploiting international human rights mechanisms."

It said "selective" approaches not only have failed to improve the human rights situation in the world, but also downgraded the issue to the level of political disputes among countries.