Is The European Union part of the problem in our Pro-Democracy Movement in IRAN?

 By: Freydoon Khoie
We, the people of IRAN of all stripes took to the streets last year just as the last 40 years, en masse to express our disgust and grievances with the worst kind of murderous dictatorship regime in recent history and while regime’s thugs savagely suppressed our demonstrations we were undeterred and will continue such public gatherings as we have throughout 2018 and will do throughout 2019 until we bring down this illegitimate and cruel regime. But the tragedy is that while we, the pro-democracy people of Iran continue to risk our lives to publicly demand an end to the repressive and terrorist regime for a better and freer future, the wonderful European Union leaders are doing everything they can to undermine our efforts at one hand and strengthen the terrorist regime by their efforts to evade US sanctions on the other! And this, we fail to comprehend and wonder how low the EU leaders can go?

We, the people of IRAN from every sectors of our society have taken to the streets: our “middle-class poor” seeking economic prosperity instead of subsistence living; our merchants and young entrepreneurs are hurting by our downward economic spiral; our women are opposing mandatory head-covering; our fellow Sufi Muslims, Baha’is, Jews, Christians & Zoroastrians are protesting their cruel and unjust persecution; our truckers, teachers, and other workers are seeking better wages, on time payments and the right to organize; and the entire nation of IRAN is sick and tired of the repressive regime’s gross and savage human rights violations, economic mismanagement, and wide spread institutional corruption, nepotism and rent.

Brutal treatment of our people…

In response to our legitimate calls and demands for wholesale reform, constitutional referendum, and fundamental change in our political system, this terrorist and murderous regime who claims to be a republic, responds by violently cracking down, detaining thousands, torturing untold numbers, and literally murdering many of our courageous and valiant fellow freedom fighters. This murderous and terrorist regime continue its savagery and oppression of the Iranian people because the international community in general and the leading powers like the European Union, Russia and China in particular, are not making the regime’s perpetrators to pay a high price and in fact the European Union leaders and European companies are secretly trying to keep this hated regime in power which is a tragic shock to the people of IRAN. We, the people of IRAN believe that until the costs of these gross and savage behavior become too high the regime leaders will not step down. That’s why responsible nations like the U.S. and European Union need to increase pressure on the regime and demand an end to this dictatorship regime. We cannot believe that the European Union are so blatantly standing by this brutal regime that violates the human rights of the people of IRAN with such gross coercion.
The tragedy of European Union’s blatant flirtation with the murderous regime has harmed the Iranian people more than any other. Following 40 years of harsh and gross human rights violations known to the whole world, the European Union has not designated even one of the regime’s  officials for human rights abuses since the finalization of the 2015 nuclear deal — even after the imprisonment of European-Iranian dual-nationals like Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali in addition to seventeen thousands of innocent people whose only crime is peacefully demonstrate in the streets against abuse, corruption, violence and repression.
Instead, the EU is banging away to protect and preserve its business dealings with the murderous regime, allowing the regime to continue its gross human rights violations, fund its malign terrorist activities, including mass arrests, detention, torture, and abusing the people in IRAN. While the EU recently sanctioned Iran for attempting to carry out terrorist attacks on European soil, they are merely pretending to punish the regime with one hand while rewarding it with the other through continued investments and massive efforts to even create an alternative financing regime to evade US sanctions. Until the European Union stop doing business with the murderous regime in IRAN and start sanctioning it for all its dangerous behavior, including its gross human rights abuses, the European Union will remain as part of the problem and not the solution.
Nor is the U.S. is doing nearly enough. While the Trump administration claims it’s applying a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, it hasn’t sanctioned numerous regime human rights abusers — including more than 60 regime officials sanctioned years ago by the EU.
The president Trump missed an opportunity to highlight regime’s abysmal human rights record when he chaired a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in September. He should have seized the moment to roll out new sanctions designations and put the EU, as well as council permanent member states Russia and China, on the defensive by forcing them to explain their indefensible inaction.
Instead, President Trump issued forgettable, quickly ignored warnings about the Islamists weapons-proliferation threat. Worse still, the president actually thanked Iran and its Russian and Syrian allies for “slowing down” their assault on the city of Idlib in support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad!!! President Trump even encouraged these bad actors to “get the terrorists,” legitimizing the lie that these rogue regimes were primarily fighting ISIS, rather than wiping out opposition to Assad’s rule.
Fortunately, the Trump administration has another high-profile opportunity to target the murderous regime’s repression: a U.S.-hosted global summit in February on “Middle East (West Asia) stability and peace and freedom and security” in the region, focusing on Iran’s terrorist regime and we, the pro-democracy people of IRAN, are counting on the support of the international community for regime change to bring back to IRAN a sense of normalcy, peace and democracy.
The administration should engage the European Union and other allies at the highest levels to agree on joint sanctions on additional regime’s human rights abusers, to be rolled out at the gathering. New targets should include Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iran’s largest charitable foundation, Astan Quds Razavi, and the supreme leader’s pick to be the next head the judiciary; Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri and his office for, among other things, prosecution and threats of prosecution of activists; and Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, whose department has taken a leading role in both persecuting dissidents and detaining Western hostages and dual nationalities like Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Dr. Djalali, Namazi, both father and son, and thousands of other activists who are in prisons without charge and being tortured indefinitely.
But if the European Union leaders refuse to join the US, then President Trump should nonetheless use the meeting to unilaterally impose crushing new human rights sanctions on these and other regime human rights abusers. America must stand with the Iranian people, even if it means standing alone and even if it means going to war with the terrorist, corrupt and repressive regime just as US is doing in Venezuela. The people of IRAN are by far the most pro-American and pro-democracy people in the world and deserve not to be forgotten or left alone in our war against terrorism, repression and corruption.
Freydoon Khoie is the Chairman of the IRANIAN FREEDOM PARTY and a leading opposition activists. He can be reached at;
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