MEP: Cancellation Iranian visit to EP is revealing

Marietje
Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) says it is revealing that Iranian Parliamentarians decided to cancel their visit to the European Parliament at the last minute. The Iranian parliament today stated that the delegation, which was planned for next week, is being cancelled because a resolution the European Parliament passed last week is supposedly an 'anti-Iran resolution'. “It is revealing that hard liners in Iran are trying to stop a broader dialogue. At the same time, the government is focused on the nuclear issue.  For the EU but also for the Iranian population, other issues, first and foremost human rights and freedoms are fundamentally important.” Constructive Schaake is surprised that the delegation says to have cancelled its visit because of this resolution. “There is nothing in this text that we did not discuss with our Iranian counterparts when we were there with a delegation from the European Parliament at the end of last year. On top of that, this resolution is actually very constructive and calls for a more independent European policy. We clearly state that we want to reduce sanctions, cooperate to fight against drugs-trafficking and we call for an EU embassy in Tehran. At the same time it cannot come as a surprise to anyone that human rights are at the top of the European Parliament's agenda.” Power struggle According to Schaake, this latest development demonstrates the power struggle that is on-going between reformists and hard liners in Iran. “President Rohani and his Foreign minister Zarif have often stated that they want more openness towards the EU, but in the Iranian Parliament, conservative forces have a large majority. Furthermore, in the end power lies mostly with supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The EU will keep on pushing for more freedoms, rights and opportunities for the Iranian population. Only if those change for the better can we really speak of a changed course in Iran.” The complete resolution on Iran can be read here.