European Parliament’s Rights Allegations Unfair

European Parliament’s Rights Allegations UnfairEuropean Parliament’s Rights Allegations Unfair

A lawmaker rejected a statement by a number of European Parliament members criticizing Iran for alleged human rights abuses, saying one needs to go no further for proof than noting the popular presidential vote held in May to assess the unfairness of the claims.

The statement signed by 265 members of the 751-seat EP was issued on Monday, censuring Iran over the so-called repression of women and minorities, and illegal executions in Iran. Asghar Salimi also told ICANA on Sunday that the strong participation of Iranians in the May 19 presidential election clearly indicates the fallacy with the statement.

“Holding clean elections with a substantial voter turnout is a sure sign of democracy, a main criterion of human rights situation in a country,” he said.

Over 41 million people out of the 56-million-strong electorate cast ballots in the presidential vote, a 73% turnout in the election that saw the reelection of incumbent Hassan Rouhani.

“Some countries that see themselves as [the guardian] of democracy do not have even a half of this turnout in their elections and the message of low participation is clear,” he said.  

“Worse than that, in a country like Saudi Arabia, toward which Europeans have turned a blind eye, there is no election and no democracy.”

The statement described Iran’s May presidential poll “not free and fair”, accused Iran of supporting terrorism and called for blacklisting the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. The statement asked European governments to end their relationship with Iran unless there is a halt to executions in Iran and a clear progress on human rights and women’s rights.

  Double Standards

The lawmaker accused European signatories of adopting double standards on human rights.    

“European countries and the US, which are always bragging about democracy, have not only kept silent about Saudi atrocities in Yemen or the villainy of the Israeli regime in Palestine, but they also extend support to them,” he said.

“Instead, they devise human rights frame-ups against Iran that commits no rights violations.”  

The statement also drew a response from Iran’s Foreign Ministry that dismissed it as a “psychological ploy”.

“Some of the European Parliament members, who are notorious for having links to dissident groups and the terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization, have been trying to exploit their position to make false claims about the human rights situation in Iran,” Press TV quoted spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, as saying last Wednesday. The MKO is responsible for terrorist attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials over the past four decades, which are estimated to have left over 12,000 dead.

It also fought against Iran in the 1980-88 Iraq-imposed war. The Foreign Ministry spokesman said the statement was aimed at undermining the growing Iran-EU cooperation, which has brought “very constructive and positive” outcomes for both sides.

Qasemi warned that such acts would tarnish the image of the EU and undermine its credibility, stressing that Iran expected the bloc to prudently deal with efforts pushing for such measures against Iran.


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