UNPO Welcomes EP Resolution on Iran
The UNPO welcomes the resolution adopted 19 December 2019 by the European Parliament denouncing the disproportionate use of force by Iranian security forces against civilians during the nationwide protests that swept across the country in November. In the resolution, MEPs denounced the "unacceptable" reaction by the authorities and urged them to disclose the total number of deaths and detainees, and to inform all families where their relatives are being detained. The UNPO commends the firm language adopted by European Parliament in its resolution and urges the Commission to immediately review its relations with Iran.
Throughout the crisis, the international community issued repeated calls for restraint to Iran. Nevertheless, Tehran continued with its barbaric crackdown on protestors, journalists and human rights defenders, leaving more than 300 dead. In this context, ethnic minorities such as Ahwazi Arabs, Kurds and Baloch have been particularly targeted by the regime, which for decades pursues a policy of violent repression against its minority communities. As documented by UNPO, representatives of these minorities also face harassment and deadly threats in Europe.
The November unrest is yet another evidence that the EU's efforts to encourage Iran to improve its brutal human rights records and to move towards democracy has had no success. On the contrary, the situation has deteriorated considerably, particularly regarding its systematic persecution of human rights defenders. Therefore, in a country that continues to defy the international law, the EU should respond with the passing of a European ‘Magnitsky Act’, modelled along the lines of a similar-named US sanctions framework, and sanction Iranian officials involved in human rights abuses, who could face EU asset freezes and travel bans.
The UNPO also urges the European Union to work on an effective reprisal mechanism to address the growing threat of Iranian persecution to Iranian human rights defenders in European territory. Finally the UNPO calls on European Union member states to trigger the so-called "dispute resolution mechanism" outlined in the JCPOA accord, which could lead to the resumption of UN sanctions on Iran.