BRUSSELS, March 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Following the Iranian elections on February 26, Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi declared them to be a sham which would not lead to moderation in Tehran. She added that all the factions of the clerical regime share common interests in suppression, terrorism and plundering of public wealth.
Rajavi made these remarks at an event at the European Parliament's headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday. Scores of members of Europe's legislative body from various political groups took part in the afternoon event.
Gerard Deprez, Belgian MEP (ALDE), chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran inter-parliamentary group presided over the event, titled Post-Nuclear Agreement Policy on Iran by the EU.
The speakers also addressed the issue of human rights in Iran under Rouhani and Iran's role in the Syrian civil war. Jaromir Stetina presented a gift on behalf of Czech Republic MEPs to Rajavi welcoming her to the Parliament.
Rajavi addressed the issue of elections and said: "The so-called election was held without the presence of any opposition groups. It was in fact a race among present and former officials in charge of torture and executions." She went on to add, "The regime's former president Rafsanjani and his cabinet members are pursued by the German, Swiss and Argentine judiciaries for their terrorist crimes in foreign countries."
According to the Iranian opposition, Hassan Rouhani's tenure as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been marked by at least 2,300 executions, growing contributions to the massacre of civilians in the Syrian Civil War, and greater repression of the rights of the Iranian people.
UK Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre emphasized that human rights and women's rights should be the main benchmark for Europe when deciding on its policy vis-à-vis the Iranian regime. "The human rights situation has evidently not improved but has tremendously deteriorated and certainly does not meet our standards in Europe," she said. "In my view, we can only judge the state of human rights in Iran by what we see, not by the words of the regime but by their action. No change, whether small or significant, should be trusted as long as these executions are going on in Iran."
Turning to Maryam Rajavi, McIntyre finished by saying: "This is what Mrs. Rajavi said on the first day that Rouhani came to power. Europe should listen to these remarks and put them in action. We stand behind Mrs. Rajavi as she has been an inspiration to the Iranian people who want democracy."
Rajavi rejected the notion that democratic transformation would come about through elections like those that took place last month. She added that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei could never be expected to step down voluntarily, but would have to be overthrown.
Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam agreed that the Iranian regime has not changed recently and that change would come not from within this regime. "There is no reason to believe that Tehran has stopped lying," he said. "The Litmus test for moderation is change in situation of human rights."
Patrick Kennedy, former Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island and son of late Senator Edward Kennedy traveled from the US to attend the meeting. In it, he rejected the Iranian elections as a farce and expressed his support for the Iranian resistance. He said the flow of the refugees from Syria is the result of the Iranian regime's genocide there.
Regarding the Syrian crisis, Rajavi said: "The Iranian regime uses the money it gets from the West after lifting of the sanctions, to buy advanced weapons for the Assad regime. The weapons are then used to murder the people of Syria and send a wave of refugees to the same Western countries."
"The solution to the tragedy in Syria, the crisis in Iraq, and instability in the Middle East will be found only after the IRGC is expelled from those countries," she said further. "The most dangerous thing is to engage and involve the Iranian regime in the case of Syria."
The representative of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces stressed that if it were not for the presence of the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Guards, Bashar Assad would have been overthrown years ago.
Mrs. Rajavi denounced the European Union's weak position on violations of human rights in Iran and turning a blind eye on Tehran's role in the massacre of the people of Syria. She warned: "The failure to adopt a decisive policy on human rights abuses in Iran will embolden the mullahs to resume their bomb-making project and step up their warmongering in foreign lands, particularly the genocide of the people of Syria."
SOURCE Iran News Update