Struan Stevenson, a former Member of the European Parliament from Scotland, has urged the Scottish government not to pursue former First Minister Alex Salmond’s idea about building trade and cultural links with Iran’s regime.
Writing in The Herald on Thursday, Mr. Stevenson said: “Iran’s appalling record on human rights and the financing and export of terror is second to none, causing widespread unrest among its oppressed citizens.”
“Indeed a rising tide of protests inside Iran has triggered a brutal backlash by the clerical authorities. Acknowledging the serious threat posed by recent demonstrations, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told a meeting of senior security officials two weeks ago further repressive measures throughout the country were now a ‘high priority’.”
“While the West continues to applaud the smiling president Hassan Rouhani, the reality is that since he took office in 2013, at least 2,300 men and 66 women have been executed in Iran, many of them hanged in public.”
“Clearly, following his recent visit to Tehran, Mr Salmond is spellbound by Iran. He seems blissfully unaware of the fact the Iranian Revolutionary Guards supply arms, money and military personnel to every Middle East conflict zone.”
“Scotland should think long and hard before it does business with Tehran. Those who put profits before people and human rights will not be quickly forgiven when this criminal regime is overthrown and freedom and democracy are restored in Iran,” he added.
Struan Stevenson was a Conservative MEP representing Scotland in the European Parliament from 1999 until his retirement in 2014. He was president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014 and President of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup from 2005 to 2014.