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GUE/NGL MEPs urge for greater dialogue with Iran

24/10/2016

GUE/NGL MEPs urge for greater dialogue with Iran

A draft resolution calling on the EU to reset its relations with Iran is to be voted on by MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

Speaking during tonight’s plenary, GUE/NGL MEP Javier Couso - Vice-Chair on the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) - said whilst there are positive aspects in the report concerning asylum seekers and human rights, it also represents an opportunity missed:

“It’s good news for the region and for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. But the same should be applied to Israel with its 300 nuclear warheads, which is also a breach of human rights except no one says a word about it.”

“Unfortunately, however, there’s no mention about US sanctions in this report. They affect EU companies but above all, they have a negative impact on the Iranian people. Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government - it has ministers. And let's not forget that Al-Nusra is Al Qaeda"..”

“The rapporteur hasn’t done a bad job but it falls short of what should be a good basis for understanding between sovereign nations,” said Couso.

AFET member and Greek MEP Sofia Sakorafa also used her speech to urge the United States to remove unilateral sanctions from the nation as it has an adverse effect on human rights as well as peoples' wellbeing.

In addition, she stressed the importance of dialogue in this rapprochement as key:

“The EU and Iran need to have an open dialogue - an ambitious dialogue in order to build mutual trust and respect on the basis of mutual interests and differences.”

“MEPs need to build on this new relationship constructively and not just within the tight parliamentary framework.” 

“There should be a sincere and productive exchange of views on human rights. It is also our duty to put security and prosperity at the heart of these dialogues, such as efforts to tackle arms trafficking to stop growing militarisation in the region,” concluded Sakorafa.

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