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In the wake of Iran elections, EU must abandon appeasement

ImageIn the wake of Iran elections, EU must abandon appeasement; remove Mujahedeen-e Khalq from terror list
Press Release
Brussels, June 30, 2005

On the initiative of Friends of a Free Iran, an inter parliamentary group in the European Parliament, a meeting, entitled "Iranian elections, Implications for Iran and the European Union," was held at the European Parliament. Several Euro-MPs and their aides attended the meeting. Mr. Paulo Casaca, Co-Chair of the Group and head of the EP delegation to NATO, chaired the meeting.
ImageMs. Sarvnaz Chitsaz, Chairwoman of Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and Mr. Ali Safavi, President of the Near East Policy Research in Washington DC, were the speakers.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Casaca said, "The Iranian election caught the Europeans off guards. Having insisted that their policy of engaging Tehran would work and strengthen the so-called moderate forces in Iran, they must now explain how and why one of the most extremist officials in the Islamic Republic came out of the ballot box."

ImageMr.Casaca added that with the failure of this policy, the European Union must now change course and try to reach out to the Iranian people instead investing in the mullahs as reliable partners. There is no longer any justification for dealing with a regime whose president is a notorious criminal who has personally been involved in killing dissidents.

In her remarks, Ms. Chitsaz said, "By any Western standard of democracy, the Iranian presidential election was a joke and the results were a tragedy. Faced with choosing between the lesser of the two evils, Iranians in the millions did what was expected of them: Stay away from the polls."

Referring to widespread rigging and fraud in the election, Ms. Chitsaz said, "This time it was not only the opposition, which cried foul. Other candidates were irate over a well-oiled machinery of vote fixing, which involved no less than 300,000 members of the paramilitary Bassij militia and the Revolutionary Guards Corps. Khatami’s faction pointed to the abuse of treasury and country’s financial resources to turn the process into a "managed election".

Quoting Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance, Ms. Chitsaz added, "Appeasement of the clerical regime has led to the complete consolidation of power in the hands of the most extremist factions of the clerical regime. A Revolutionary Guards commander and terrorist is at the helm of the executive; a mullah-terrorist heads the judiciary, and other Revolutionary Guards and henchmen control the legislature and the state radio and television, and occupy many seats in the Majlis (Parliament)."

Ms. Chitsaz said the terrorist designation of Iran’s main opposition group, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq was both immoral and illegal. "Time therefore has come for the world community, particularly European governments, to end the policy of appeasing Tehran and remove the terrorist label against the Mujahedeen so as to allow the Iranian people to bring about democratic change in Iran before the international community is forced to intervene."

In his remarks, Mr. Safavi said, "As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. And the dark clouds that have settled in Iran post Ahmadinejad victory confirmed the Iranian Resistance’s long-held view that a viper never gives birth to dove, meaning that the bloody theocracy that has ruled Iran for a quarter century cannot and will not change, unless it is ousted from power in its entirety by the Iranian people."

Pointing to the role of EU’s policy on the election of Ahmadinejad, Safavi said, "There’s no question that the European Union’s self serving and profit-driven approach contributed greatly to the emergence of a killjoy set to taking Iran back to the dark ages."

Safavi concluded his remarks by saying, "On the domestic scene, the regime will emerge much weaker and more vulnerable. Ahmadinejad is not going to resolve any of Iran’s acute problems of poverty, unemployment, drug addiction. Any attempt at addressing social calamities in Iran requires one essential decision: Respect the Iranian people’s free choice, something that is not going to happen as long as the theocracy remains in power."