Letter to VP/HR Mogherini on human rights in Iran, April 2016

Marietje
Honourable Vice-President/High-Representative, At the Foreign Affairs Council on the 14th of March, you outlined your plans to travel to the Islamic Republic of Iran on the 16th of April with seven of your colleagues from the European Commission. We support the development of a broad agenda following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. As you stated on the 14th of March, there are many issues of mutual interest and concern, such as refugees, the fight against drug-trafficking, climate change, energy and cultural exchange. However, we believe that the most important topic to discuss is the human rights of people in Iran. We therefore urge you to put human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Iranian population at the top of the agenda of your visit. With record numbers of executions, arrests of critics and systematic censorship online and offline, Iran remains undemocratic and unfree. The rights of women and of minorities are of particular concern. It must be clear that a further development of the relationship between the EU and Iran can only be meaningful and successful when accompanied by improvements in the wellbeing of people in Iran. We call on you to substantiate this prioritization by including EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, in the large European delegation traveling to Iran. Secondly, we call on you to address the role Iran plays in the Middle-East. Iran has actively supported the Assad regime in Syria, and must show its commitment to solving the Syrian crisis. The role Iran plays in Lebanon by supporting Hezbollah, and its role in Yemen must also urgently be addressed. We stand ready to support the development of a meaningful, broad agenda of EU engagement with Iran, and are happy to share our expertise. We remain at your disposal and look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Marietje Schaake (ALDE) Maria Arena (S&D) Beatriz Becerra (ALDE) Heinz Becker (EPP) Bas Belder (ECR) Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE) Klaus Buchner (Greens/EFA) Dita Charanzová (ALDE) Nessa Childers (S&D) Mark Demesmaeker (ECR) Gérard Deprez (ALDE) Martina Dlabajova (ALDE) Tanja Fajon (S&D) José Inácio Faria (ALDE) Fredrick Federley (ALDE) Christofer Fjellner (EPP) Gerben Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE) Ana Gomes (S&D) Jytte Guteland (S&D) Marian Harkin (ALDE) Petr Jezek (ALDE) Rina Ronja Kari (GUE/NGL) Tunne Kelam (EPP) Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D) Jeppe Kofod (S&D) Eduard Kukan (EPP) Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL) Andrew Lewer (ECR) Barbara Lochbihler (Greens/EFA) Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA) Ramona Manescu (EPP) Emma McClarkin (ECR) Anthea McIntyre (ECR) Miroslav Mikolasik (EPP) Matthijs van Miltenburg (ALDE) Urmas Paet (ALDE) Maite Pagazaurtundúa (ALDE) Kati Piri (S&D) Cristian Dan Preda (EPP) Franck Proust (EPP) Bronis Ropė (Greens/EFA) Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP) Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE) Alyn Smith (Greens/EFA) Csaba Sógor (EPP) Ivan Štefanec (EPP) Pavel Svoboda (EPP) Tibor Szanyi (S&D) Charles Tannock (ECR) Pavel Telička (ALDE) Helga Trüpel (Greens/EFA) Marita Ulvskog (S&D) Hilde Vautmans (ALDE) Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE) Julie Ward (S&D) Anna Zaborska (EPP) Boris Zala (S&D) Tomas Zdechovsky (EPP) Jana Zitnanska (ECR) Damiano Zoffoli (S&D) Milan Zver (EPP) The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Professor Payam Akhavan, McGill University