Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki appeared before the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee today to discuss the country's nuclear programme and other issues concerning current EU-Iran relations.
Marietje Schaake (D66, Netherlands), ALDE spokesperson on Iran, followed the discussion first hand: "A constructive and realistic dialogue, even in the most difficult circumstances, can yield results but so far the Iranian government has shown little realism in assessing its relationship with Europe. Whilst Iran's nuclear programme is clearly a high priority on the international agenda, we should not ignore the state of human rights prevailing in the country." "The foreign minister came to us requesting dialogue but was only really interested in monologue, refusing to answer any question related to human rights and sticking blindly to the script that the elections in Iran had been free and fair." "The qualification of Iran as a democracy, supported by the people, as Minister Mottaki portrayed his country, indicates a grossly misleading picture of the reality we have witnessed since the contested Presidential elections." "The Iranian regime has shown a deep disdain for justice and human rights. Impunity so far prevails over justice." Schaake says. "It is most important, as elected representatives of the people of Europe, that the Iranian people know we stand by them, and their struggle for fundamental rights and democracy."