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European Parliament takes formal step in direction of exhibiting solidarity with Iranian protesters


Following an invite from the Friends of Free Iran intergroup of the European Parliament, the Iranian opposition chief Maryam Rajavi met a number of outstanding EU Parliamentarians to debate the latest uprisings in Iran, described by many observers as a brand new revolution. 

The assembly anticipated the next day’s decision outlining a potential worldwide response to the present rebellion and related crackdowns in Iran. Rajavi has been designated by the National Council of Resistance of Iran to function transitional president following the present regime’s overthrow.

As Iran’s home unrest stretches into its fourth week, a rising variety of commentators appear to be adopting the assumption that such regime change is a sensible end result. Since the demise of Mahsa Amini by the hands of Tehran’s “morality police” on September 16, the ensuing protests have grown to embody at the very least 170 Iranian cities throughout all 31 provinces. The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (recognized additionally because the MEK or PMOI), which maintains an in depth community contained in the Islamic Republic, has recorded greater than 400 protester deaths as largely unarmed civilians have straight fought again in opposition to authorities repression.

The protests have been routinely accompanied by the chanting of provocative, anti-government slogans like “demise to the dictator” and “demise to Khamanei” (the supreme chief) which lends assist to Rajavi’s declaration that “the true goal of the women and men in Iran is regime change and the institution of a free and democratic republic, primarily based on separation of faith and state.”

In MEPs’ assembly with the Iranian opposition chief, Spanish politician Javier Zarzalejos, co-chair of the Friends of Free Iran intergroup, identified that there’s sturdy assist for the Iranian Resistance on the European Parliament and mentioned, “We are shocked by the braveness of the Iranian individuals, particularly girls, through the demonstrations which might be happening in Iran as of late. Women’s protest just isn’t solely in opposition to the obligatory hijab, however goes again to the systematic and critical violations of their elementary rights.”  

Milan Zver, from Slovenia, who’s co-chair of Friends of Free Iran, added, “Many within the European Parliament are deeply grateful for the braveness of Rajavi in opposing the spiritual dictatorship ruling Iran.”

Czech MEP Stanislav Polcak mentioned, “We have seen the sturdy need of the Iranian individuals to destroy the regime, not solely as of late however for a number of many years. You deserve freedom.”

Jan Zahradil one other MEP from the Czech Republic who has adopted Iranian affairs on the European Parliament for years, careworn that Rajavi represents essentially the most organized resistance motion in Iran for many years. “The violence carried out by the regime as of late was the final straw for individuals who nonetheless thought that it was doable to barter with this regime and that peaceable change was doable,” he mentioned. “Change is feasible in Iran, there is just one precondition, and that’s to cease concessions and negotiations with this regime and to cease appeasement. This coverage has not labored, and it’ll not work.”

Prior to assembly with Rajavi, MEPs from completely different political teams signed an announcement affirming that “the prospect of change in Iran has by no means been this accessible”. The MEPs additionally acknowledged, “It is time to acknowledge the appropriate of the Iranian individuals to defend themselves and to overthrow this regime and to determine a free and democratic Iran.”

The assertion has since acquired greater than 130 signatures, and its conclusions and proposals at the moment are mirrored within the formal decision that was adopted by the parliament on Thursday, with overwhelming assist.

That decision is an important first step towards assembly the expectations of the Iranian individuals, as described by Rajavi in her remarks on Wednesday:

“The individuals of Iran count on greater than phrases of condemnation or sympathy from European international locations. They count on sensible steps, together with, amongst others, the popularity of their proper to defend themselves in opposition to the brutal assaults by the regime, and recognition of their proper to withstand and struggle for his or her freedom.”

The decision outlines a number of such concrete steps together with the enforcement of human rights-related sanctions on anybody related to the morality police forces that killed Mahsa Amini, in addition to anybody who has ordered or perpetrated violence in opposition to protesters through the ensuing rebellion. It additionally recommends that the EU “use all engagements with the Iranian authorities to demand a right away finish to the violent crackdown and the unconditional launch of all these arrested for exercising their proper to freedom of expression, affiliation and peaceable meeting.”

According to the PMOI, there have been greater than 20,000 such arrests up to now, and even Iranian authorities have confirmed greater than half this quantity. Based on the regime’s prior reactions to large-scale unrest, there may be widespread concern that these arrests may result in many situations of torture and demise in custody. 

The regime has additionally curtailed web entry all through the nation in an effort to additional impede protest organizing whereas additionally limiting the unfold of data to the broader world.

During a previous rebellion in November 2019, comparable web blackouts turned out to be a precursor to mass shootings which left greater than 1,500 individuals dead. Recognizing the potential penalties of the Islamic Republic being reduce off from the world, the MEPs’ assertion declared that “the worldwide group should assure free entry to the Internet for the individuals of Iran.”

Thursday’s decision emphasised the potential function the worldwide group and particularly the United Nations may play in counterbalancing Tehran’s efforts to maintain overseas events at nighttime about ongoing developments inside Iran. It referred to as upon the UN Human Rights Council “to launch directly a complete investigation into the occasions which have taken place in latest weeks, led by the UN Special Rapporteur on the scenario of human rights within the Islamic Republic of Iran” and to “set up a global investigative and accountability mechanism for human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian Government.”

Western supporters of the Iranian Resistance motion, together with those that signed the latest assertion and voted in favor of the next decision, take into account such a mechanism to be lengthy overdue in mild of the historical past of unresolved human rights abuses and crimes in opposition to humanity perpetrated by the Iranian regime.

In 1988, Tehran’s then-deputy prosecutor Ebrahim Raisi performed a number one function within the systematic execution of 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom have been members or supporters of the PMOI. In 2019, Raisi was in control of Iran’s judiciary on the time of the November rebellion, and in 2021 he was appointed president, resulting in him having a outstanding function within the regime’s response to the present unrest.

In latest years, human rights organizations have joined the PMOI in calling for Raisi to be formally investigated and face expenses on the International Criminal Court.

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