French Government Looking at Relations With Iran Based on Human Rights

By Iran News Update, Special for  USDR

A multi-party group of 70 French parliamentarians issued a statement to their government this week, urging Paris to extend its “firm position” on the Iranian nuclear agreement into other matters of Iran policy. The letter was made public on Tuesday at a National Assembly conference sponsored by the Parliamentary Committee for a Democratic Iran. Scores of prominent French parliamentarians including Mr. Bruno Le Roux, president of the governing Socialist Group in the assembly attended and addressed the  conference.

The statement demanded that the French government reconsider its policy, arguing that Iran is largely responsible for the deteriorating regional situation and thus cannot be relied on as part of a political solution. “Iran’s support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi militias in Yemen, its position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, [and] its interventions in Iraq under the Al-Maliki government are the first examples [of Iran’s destructive influence],” the statement said in  part.

Tuesday’s conference welcomed testimony from Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Paris-based Iranian opposition coalition the National Coalition of Resistance of Iran. Rajavi reiterated and expanded upon the statement’s assertion of Iran’s culpability for the rise of ISIS and other regional problems. “If it were not for the mullahs’ all-out support for Assad and Maliki, ISIS could not [have developed], 300,000 Syrians would not have become victimized and there would not have been a tidal wave of refugees floodingEurope,” she   said.

Rajavi is the author of the NCRI’s “ten-point plan” for the future of a post-regime change Iran, which outlines such principles as separation of religion and state, commitment to the non-pursuit of nuclear arms, and protection of the rights of women and minorities. The Parliamentary Committee’s statement explicitly endorsed regime change along these lines, insisting that even in the wake of the nuclear agreement, “the theocracy ruling Iran has not changed [and] continues to fuel fundamentalism in the  region.”

The statement thus called upon France to recognize the need for a democratic alternative to the current status quo and to condition short-term changes in the government’s relations with Iran upon the improvement of the latter’s human rights  record.

In response to a surge of executions which has put Iran on track to exceed 1,000 hangings in 2015 alone, the parliamentarians called for Europe to pressure Iran to impose a moratorium on the death penalty. The statement also pointed to the increasing number of political prisoners and the ongoing attacks on Iranian dissidents living in the refugee community of Camp Liberty,  Iraq.

The general human rights situation in Iran has been a particular source of concern. A number of protests have been planned by human rights groups and Iranian exiles for the coming weeks, to coincide with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s scheduled visit toFrance and Italy, beginning November 14.

SOURCE Iran News  Update

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