HomeIran News NowEU Inaction Has Encouraged Iran’s Regime To Continue Its Human Rights Violations

EU Inaction Has Encouraged Iran’s Regime To Continue Its Human Rights Violations

On Saturday, Iran’s clerical regime executed Ruhollah Zam, a European resident. France, Germany, and several other countries condemned this execution. In response, the regime summoned their Ambassadors in Tehran. What encouraged the mullahs’ regime to do this?
Briefly, the European Unions’ appeasement policy has emboldened the mullahs to not only continue human rights violations but to show extreme reactions to the slightest opposition to its barbaric manners.

On December 7, EU foreign ministers adopted the “global human rights sanctions regime,” targeting those responsible for serious human rights violations. A week after adopting this sanctions regime, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell was scheduled to hold the Europe-Iran Business Forum. He was meant to deliver a joint keynote address at this event with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose ministry defended the latest human rights violation by summoning France and Germany’s ambassadors in Tehran.

Although this Forum was canceled at the last minute due to Ruhollah Zam’s execution, but holding this event in the first place was wrong. Iran’s human rights violations are not limited to this recent execution. And this is not the first time that Zarif and his ministry support human rights violations and try to whitewash the regime’s crimes.

What message does holding such events send to the regime other than encouraging it to continue human rights violations and that the EU will prioritize the economy over its humanitarian values.

France, where Zam was residing, and the EU condemned his execution. But a mere condemnation, after the deed is done, without any decisive action before the execution, has no effect.

The international community’s inaction toward human rights violations in Iran, starting in the 1980s, has emboldened the regime to continue its human rights abuses.

Last week, seven United Nations special rapporteurs and experts officially announced the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners could amount to “crimes against humanity.” They showed their support for an international investigation while underlining the world community’s inaction has emboldened the regime to continue its human rights violations.

A testament to this fact is the massacre of 1500 protesters during the nationwide Iran protests in November 2019. When in September 2019, the European countries allowed Zarif to step on their soil, they had already accepted the human rights violations. During his visit to Nordic countries, Zarif blatantly threatened Iranian expatriates, who were protesting his presence in Europe, to be “eaten alive” by the regime’s thugs in Iran and the region.

When the regime executed a detained protester and a national wrestling champion, Navid Afkari, in September 2020, despite international outcries, it showed simple condemnation of human rights violations would not stop this regime and its human rights abuses.

Europe has to change course in dealing with this regime. Sadly, in announcing the Forum was postponed, organizers said they look forward to holding the conference soon, adding: “European and Iranian policymakers continue to engage in the necessary dialogue to establish the appropriate conditions for effective economic diplomacy.”

This means the EU still prioritizes its economic interests over humanitarian values. When Mr. Borrell meets Zarif, he should remember Zarif is the same person who has praised the record holder of execution per capita as the “greatest democracy in the Middle East.”

European policymakers should remember that the mullahs’ human rights violations and oppression against their dissidents are not limited to Iran’s borders. Zarif’s diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi went recently on trial in Belgium for his attempt to bomb the opposition rally in France in 2018.

Any negotiations with this regime will only encourage it to continue its malign activities. When the EU policymakers continue appeasing the mullahs’ regime, they are ridiculing their own “global human rights sanctions regime,” which Mr. Borrell was proud to announce.

The time has come for the European Union to take concrete actions against the Iranian regime. The EU should sanction all the regime’s leaders, particularly their chief apologist, Zarif, for human rights violations. The EU should lead an international investigation into the 1988 massacre and the mass killing of 1500 protests in 2019 in Iran and hold the regime’s authorities to account for their crimes. Any economic relation with the regime should be contingent on the end of human rights violations in Iran.

European countries should also shut down all regime embassies in their countries, which are emissaries of terror, and expel the mullahs’ agents from Europe.

By taking these actions, the EU would truly honor its human rights values and make the world a better place.