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EU Council deplores human rights deterioration in Iran

EU Council deplores human rights deterioration in IranNCRI – In its conclusions on Iran on Monday, the EU Council of Ministers expressed its deep concern over Iranian regime’s failure to cooperate fully with the UN nuclear watch dog and condemned deteriorating state of human rights in Iran. The following is the full text of the Council’s statement:

On 4 February the IAEA Board of Governors decided by an overwhelming majority that the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme should be reported to the UN Security Council.  The EU expresses its deep concern at Iran’s continuing failure to cooperate fully with the IAEA and to take the steps necessary to re-establish international confidence in the peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme, as recorded in the Director General’s report of 27 February. 

The EU continues to be committed to a diplomatic solution.  The Council deeply regrets that Iran has failed to implement in full the measures deemed necessary by the IAEA Board. As a result, the UN Security Council is currently considering appropriate steps.  The Council believes that the Security Council should act to reinforce the authority of the IAEA.  The Council calls again upon Iran urgently to meet in full the requests set out in the IAEA Board of Governors’ resolution of 4 February. The Council underlines that this should include a full suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

The nuclear issue will remain a central and pressing concern. The Council however also underlines the necessity that Iran addresses effectively all the EU’s areas of concern which include terrorism, Iran’s approach to the Middle East peace process, regional issues as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Council welcomes the release of Akbar Ganji on 17 March. It condemns his detention and treatment while in prison and calls on the Iranian authorities to release all other prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally. The Council deplores the deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran and condemns the violence used against peaceful protesters on International Women’s Day.  The Council reaffirms that full respect for human rights in Iran is essential, also for progress in EU/Iran relations. The Council affirms that the EU will continue to register its human rights concerns, raising in particular the plight of Iran’s persecuted human rights defenders, the situation of minorities and capital punishment.

The EU will keep all its diplomatic options under close review and will calibrate its approach in the light of Iranian declarations and actions.