Former vice-President of the EP: EU Must ‘Rethink the Way We Deal With Iran’s Inhumane Theocracy’
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the former vice-President of the European Parliament and a prominent Spanish professor of atomic and nuclear physics, penned an op-ed for Fair Observer criticizing the EU’s approach to the Iranian regime.
New article in @myfairobserver by @isjcommittee President @VidalQuadras
"Meet the “Moderates” the EU Is Trying to Empower in #Iran"#1988Massacre #mek #HumanRights #raisi #Maryam_Akbari_Monfared #FreeIran2019 #IranRegimeChange #IranProtests https://t.co/iQMq2y0mad
— ISJ Committee (@isjcommittee) March 18, 2019
The professor cited the regime’s latest appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as head of the Iranian judiciary as yet further evidence that the regime remains committed to stifling political dissent at home and abroad. A recent Amnesty International report into the 1988 massacre, in which the Iranian regime killed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), asserts that Raisi was directly involved in the roundup and execution of the political prisoners. He was part of a “death committee” in Iran that sent tens of thousands of Iranians to the gallows.
The case, which Vidal-Quadras denounces as a “crime against humanity”, went too far even for several regime insiders. In 2016, a recording of the successor to the Supreme Leader in 1988 was released in which Hossein Ali Montazeri can be heard denouncing the executions as “the biggest crime in the Islamic Republic.”
He told the regime leadership that “history will condemn us,” and added, “they’ll write your names as criminals in history.”
A Source of Pride
For Vidal-Quadras, the evil deeds of 1988 have been compounded by the reluctance to bring those accountable to justice in the subsequent years. “This crime against humanity is not only an insufficient cause for investigation and punishment of the perpetrators but a source of pride for its instigators,” he lamented.
Raisi has previously boasted of his role in the massacre. In 2015, he spoke of his atrocities against the MEK with glee. Vidal-Quadras asks, “weren’t the European Union’s efforts to appease Iran and all these years of dialogue and concessions supposed to empower moderate figures and isolate the hardliners?”
For Vidal-Quadras, the EU has been duped. It has fallen into Tehran’s trap of believing that there are two warring factions; one made up of religious hardliners and one of more placid moderates. As Europe rushed to appease the Iranian “moderates”, the regime received financial aid it could use to repress its people and carry out human rights abuses.
The appointment of Raisi, a “mass murderer”, to the head of the judiciary shows that there is no such division. There are only hardliners. Vidal-Quadras calls on the European Union and its foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to add Raisi and other senior figures of the regime leadership to the EU’s sanctions list. “Europe must work forcefully for the right of Iran’s people to live in freedom and democracy,” he said.
Vidal-Quadras concluded, “the EU was founded on the principle of human rights. It is high time for the EU to understand its failure and to rethink the way we deal with this inhumane theocracy.”