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Debates
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

14. Iran nuclear deal (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Puhemies. – Esityslistalla on seuraavana komission varapuheenjohtajan ja unionin ulkoasioiden ja turvallisuuspolitiikan korkean edustajan julkilausuma Iranin ydinsopimuksesta.

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, it is good to be back in my place.

If we look around us – and we are doing this quite consistently today – we see a dangerous world, indeed. There is a risk that tensions will rise around the holy places of Jerusalem – we will discuss this in the next debate – Daesh has been defeated in Iraq, but the war in Syria is not over yet, Egypt has just suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in its history, and the war in Yemen is getting worse by the day. To look a little bit further, in the Korean Peninsula there is a security challenge that potentially affects all of us: nuclear proliferation is a reality.

Against this background, preserving and implementing the nuclear deal with Iran is an absolute must. We simply cannot afford more tension in the Middle East and another nuclear proliferation crisis. We cannot afford to undermine the credibility of a multilateral agreement endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution, and we cannot afford to dismantle a deal that works and delivers on its promises.

The deal with Iran is ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. This is vital for our collective security in the European Union, in the region and beyond, and it is even more important as we face a nuclear crisis with North Korea. With a nuclear deal with Iran, we have established the strongest monitoring system ever set up. The International Atomic Energy Agency has reported nine times that Iran is implementing all its nuclear-related commitments. It took us 12 years of extremely difficult negotiations, led by the European Union, to achieve these results. Renegotiating the deal, or parts of it, is simply not an option. No one can possibly believe, in good faith, that this is a credible path to follow.

After President Trump’s announcement of a new US strategy towards Iran, we Europeans have made our position very clear. Preserving the deal is our shared security interest, and the best way for the United States to address their security concerns – which are also ours – is in close cooperation with we Europeans. We Europeans share many of our American friends’ preoccupations regarding the regional situation and Iran’s ballistic missile programme, which is inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231. This is why we still have some targeted sanctions and an arms embargo in place.

But these issues should not be mixed up with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the nuclear deal and must be addressed in the appropriate formats and fora. Dismantling a nuclear agreement that is working would not put us in a better position to discuss all the rest. The opposite would happen. In fact, this is what we always do in our contacts with Iran. We discuss all the issues we have on the table, from cooperation to the difficult ones, including regional issues.

On 20 November, we held the latest EU—Iran high-level dialogue and, as you know, I meet regularly with Foreign Minister Zarif. For more than two years now, we have built a very frank relationship with Iran. We are always open about our disagreements – and there are many – and we always try to find the best way to address them. This approach has also driven our conversations on human rights. We still have substantive disagreements but, together with Iran, we have agreed to focus on tangible results. For example, we welcome the recent adoption by Tehran of the revised anti—narcotics law. If properly implemented, it could lead to a significant drop in the number of executions of drug offenders in Iran. At the last high-level dialogue I mentioned a few weeks ago, there was also agreement to continue our engagement on women’s empowerment and on the treatment of prisoners.

We have also agreed to look into possibilities for cooperation on the fight against drugs and on migration. Let me remind us all that Iran has played – and continues to play – an important role in hosting millions of Afghan refugees and we are ready to increase our common work and support in this field.

Since we reached the nuclear deal, our engagement with Iran has entered a new phase. As I mentioned, it is not always easy. There are many issues where we disagree, but it is definitely a new phase. Trade between Iran and Europe increased by 94% in the first half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016. Oil exports have reached the pre—sanctions level and billions of outstanding oil debts have been paid back. Foreign direct investment is increasing and the Iranian Government reported growth of 55% compared to the previous year. Progress in the financial and banking sector has been slower due to a number of factors, but important work is being carried out to improve the situation, also including on the Iranian side.

Civil nuclear cooperation is also an integral part of the deal, and let me stress that, as the debate refers to the Iran nuclear deal, I am focusing here on the implementation of the deal and all the nuclear-related parts of it. I would obviously be very pleased to have a ninth debate today to address all the issues that are not covered under the nuclear deal and that are issues that we are addressing and we believe need to be addressed in our relations and talks with Iran. I am thinking of the war in Syria and the conflict in Yemen, even if I touched upon some of the bilateral issues we are working on.

As I was saying, civil nuclear cooperation is an integral part of the deal. Our civil nuclear cooperation makes the nuclear deal more solid through increased transparency. The second High—Level Seminar on Civilian Nuclear Cooperation has just taken place in Isfahan and concrete cooperation activities are being rolled out. This cooperation is important for we Europeans and is even more important for the people of Iran. I would like us all to remember the images of young Iranians – girls, boys, but also not just young people – celebrating the deal in the streets of Tehran. I believe we have the responsibility to show these people and the Iranian leadership that they have an interest in making Iran more open and more cooperative, and that this brings benefits to the leadership and the people – especially to the people. It is in their interest and in our own interest.

The deal with Iran prevented a nuclear escalation in the Middle East. It showed that diplomacy is the best way to overcome longstanding problems that sometimes seem impossible to solve. This is something we have not forgotten and this is why we believe that a diplomatic, but critical, engagement with Iran can benefit the entire Middle East and prevent a regional escalation that would destabilise the whole world. At this complicated moment for the region and for the world, let me say that the European Parliament has taken part of the responsibility for our collective security and I am grateful for that.

I would like to thank you for your contacts with the US Congress and I would also mention the visit of the delegation for relations with Iran to that country. As always there was excellent cooperation and coordination with me and with all our teams that are working on these files. I think we showed teamwork and that the European institutions across the board – including the European Parliament that to me plays an essential role in European foreign policy – managed to, as we always say, speak with one voice or pass the same message. Then, when the message is passed by different players across the EU institutions, it becomes louder and clearer.

So let me thank you once again for your cooperation over the last weeks and months. Let me also say that I believe we will need this kind of cooperation even more in the weeks and months ahead, which will probably also be difficult. The work is not over, but I think that we are doing what needs to be done, again thanks also to your determined work.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda, au nom du groupe PPE. – Madame la Présidente, on examine aujourd’hui la situation à la suite du changement de la politique américaine à l’égard de l’Iran intervenu en octobre. La position européenne, comme cela a été rappelé par la haute représentante, est inchangée: on continue à soutenir l’accord nucléaire iranien.

Mais ma conviction est qu’au lieu de rejeter d’un revers de la main toute critique, on ferait mieux de regarder en face ses faiblesses et d’essayer de les pallier. Le développement des missiles balistiques iraniens continue, et la «sunset clause» ouvre la voie de l’Iran vers un arsenal nucléaire dans dix ans, avec évidemment des conséquences importantes pour la sécurité de l’Europe, y compris pour mon pays.

Juste parce qu’on est attaché à la mise en œuvre de l’accord nucléaire, on ne doit pas mettre des œillères et refuser d’admettre le reste des aspects problématiques en Iran. On ne peut pas rester silencieux sur la situation désastreuse en matière de droits de l’homme. Depuis deux ans, les seules voix européennes qui alertent sur le nombre croissant d’exécutions, sur l’oppression des voix critiques et sur la persécution des minorités viennent de notre Parlement. Pour le reste, il y a un silence poli.

Ensuite, on ne peut pas oublier le rôle déstabilisateur de l’Iran dans la région, qu’il s’agisse de la Syrie, de l’Iraq, du Liban ou de Gaza. On ne peut pas feindre de ne pas voir le support du régime iranien pour le Hezbollah et d’autres mouvements terroristes, la négation de l’Holocauste et les appels à la destruction d’Israël. Ayons le courage de nos convictions et soulevons ces questions en travaillant avec nos partenaires outre Atlantique.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, let’s set things right. Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) entered into force, the International Atomic Energy Agency has – as you rightly mentioned, Madam High Representative – certified nine times that Iran is in compliance with the commitments set out in the agreement. Following this, the international community has lifted the nuclear-related sanctions, whereas sanctions imposed by the EU and the US relating to human rights abuses and terrorist activities remain in place. The US non-nuclear-related sanctions are, nevertheless, much more comprehensive and have an extraterritorial effect that causes legal uncertainty and poses problems to the EU forums dealing with Iran.

The EU position is unequivocal. The US President’s decision to decertify the deal is damaging US credibility and interests, especially now, considering the worsening of the North Korean crisis. This decision remains purely an internal matter for the US, as the agreement remains a multilateral agreement and cannot be scrapped by a single party. In parallel, there are a number of other issues that are not part of the agreement but should be included in our EU high-level dialogue with Iran. I am referring to the following: human rights, firing of ballistic missiles, and Iran’s destabilising action in the region, notably in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, the Iran nuclear deal was concluded in 2015 as the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) by the P5+1 and the European Union, and I wish to extend thanks for the excellent work of your predecessor, Ms Ashton, and yourself, Ms Mogherini. Many so-called hardliners labelled it as a capitulation. These people not only failed to appreciate that the deal was concerned with one particular aspect, i.e. Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, but also they viewed the sanctions as an end in themselves rather than as a route to the negotiating table.

Iran’s human rights record is atrocious. I am the first to admit to that, and we should not fail to speak out against, and I have done on many occasions. Its support for terrorist groups in the Middle East is well documented and must be thoroughly condemned. Its continued engagement in a regional, sectarian battle for supremacy with Saudi Arabia creates instability and should be strongly discouraged.

These issues are, however, irrelevant when it comes to discussing this deal. That the JCPOA be enforced and measured solely against its specific aims is integral to its negotiation. Halting and hopefully ultimately preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is what we must remain focused on, not stoking the narrative of Iran as a pariah state deserving of sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran has kept within all of the technical parameters of the deal, even if at times, these parameters have been pushed to their limits. I am pleased, therefore, that the EU Member States and the High Representative have spoken strongly in favour of the deal, following President Trump’s continued threats to withdraw from it, which I regard as unacceptable. At a time when tensions with North Korea are at a breaking point, the ability to highlight a successful nuclear non-proliferation deal is of more value than ever.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, one of the reasons why I consistently defended the diplomatic solution to the nuclear question with Iran is that I believe there are so many other key areas where we need to engage the Islamic Republic of Iran. A deal on the new looming nuclear arms challenge was a hurdle that needed to be overcome.

Firstly, the systematic human rights violations remain the priority, and should be part of every dialogue, visit and communiqué involving the EU. There can be no watering down of what we mean when we talk about human rights. They are universal, even if people pray to a different god or are born in a different culture. Executions, torture, censorship and gender discrimination without due process are unacceptable.

Secondly, Iran’s role in its region is a disaster. In Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, it is clear that Iran, through the Revolutionary Guards, as well as Hezbollah, seeks to ruthlessly push its interests and influence, and I am glad that the High Representative mentioned the problematic ballistic missile firings as a key point of concern as well.

We should not be naive, and we should not be distracted either. We were warned about the potential unrest in the region as a consequence of the nuclear deal, but instead of tearing up the deal like President Trump suggests, let us do what we can to stop Iran’s toxic influence. We stand by our words and will honour EU commitments, but we must never blindly defend the indefensible. Through the new challenges to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by President Trump, I actually fear that we are again ending up in a place where all we will talk about is the nuclear deal. Instead of looking at yesterday’s agreement, let us tackle today’s problems and avoid more disasters tomorrow.

 
  
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  Σοφία Σακοράφα, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η συμφωνία του 2015 και η άρση των κυρώσεων για το πυρηνικό πρόγραμμα, έβγαλαν το Ιράν από την απομόνωση που του είχε επιβάλει η Δύση. Το Ιράν, με τη σειρά του, οφείλει να αξιοποιήσει εποικοδομητικά αυτή την ευκαιρία συνεισφέροντας με τον ρόλο του στην παγκόσμια ειρήνη και σταθερότητα. Σε αυτό το πλαίσιο, η συμμετοχή του στην επίλυση των διαφόρων συγκρούσεων και πολιτικών κρίσεων, ιδιαίτερα στη Μέση Ανατολή, είναι απαραίτητη και κρίνεται συνεχώς.

Στα δύο χρόνια από την εφαρμογή του Κοινού Συνεκτικού Σχεδίου Δράσης για το πυρηνικό πρόγραμμα του Ιράν, ο Διεθνής Οργανισμός Πυρηνικής Ενέργειας έχει πιστοποιήσει εννέα φορές την τήρηση όλων των δεσμεύσεων που προβλέπονταν. Αυτήν ακριβώς την άρτια υλοποίηση της Συμφωνίας περιφρονεί επιδεικτικά ο πρόεδρος Τραμπ και με την απόφασή του βάζει ένα ακόμη φιτίλι στη Μέση Ανατολή και τον υπόλοιπο κόσμο.

Κύριοι συνάδελφοι, η Ιστορία δείχνει ότι οι ΗΠΑ δεν διστάζουν να θέσουν σε κίνδυνο την ειρήνη και την ασφάλεια μιας ολόκληρης περιοχής, αρκεί να εξυπηρετήσουν συγκεκριμένα πολιτικά και οικονομικά συμφέροντα. Ο Πρόεδρος των ΗΠΑ φαντάζει πλέον συνεχής απειλή για την παγκόσμια ασφάλεια αλλά και για την ειρήνη.

Κυρία Mogherini, η ΕΕ έχει χρέος να συνεχίσει να υποστηρίζει τη συμφωνία σε όλα τα επίπεδα και με κάθε δυνατό μέσο. Είναι ξεκάθαρο ότι η Ευρώπη οφείλει να αποκτήσει αυτόνομη εξωτερική πολιτική, αν θέλει να αποτελέσει το αντίβαρο στην καταστροφική εξωτερική πολιτική των ΗΠΑ. Προσωπικά, δεν είμαι ιδιαίτερα αισιόδοξη αλλά εύχομαι, γιατί είναι θέμα παγκόσμιας ειρήνης, να με διαψεύσετε.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, as elected politicians, we should always set respect for human rights and democratic principles as top priorities, including when dealing with other countries. This is especially the case with a country like Iran, which happens to be the world champion in the number of executions that it carries out. One thing should be clear: Iran is a religious dictatorship where there are no free elections. Unfortunately, the EU seems to have put aside all its core values and principles just to make a deal with the Iranian regime.

Since the nuclear negotiations were started in 2013, coinciding with Rohani’s election as president, over 3 000 people have been hanged by the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the United Nations, this is the highest number of executions in Iran in 25 years. To be honest, Ms Mogherini, we really missed some words in defence of human rights when you visited Tehran earlier this year for the inauguration of Rohani’s second term.

Many Iranians have the impression that the EU has forgotten its principles in exchange for getting more business and trade benefits from the Iranian market. What will the Iranian people think when they see that all the visiting politicians are there only to close business deals, while remaining silent on human rights violations, including repression of women’s rights and ethnic and religious minorities? Let’s think about that.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: RYSZARD CZARNECKI
Wiceprzewodniczący

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, gentile Alto rappresentante, onorevoli colleghi, il dado è stato tratto: lo scorso ottobre l'amministrazione americana ha rifiutato di certificare l'accordo sul programma nucleare iraniano. Una mossa, a mio avviso, priva di una sua logica razionale e dettata piuttosto da ragioni elettorali interne.

L'immagine dell'Iran come nemico per eccellenza e unica fonte di instabilità regionale non giova certo al futuro del Medio Oriente. Sinceramente fatico a identificarlo come l'unico responsabile dei problemi regionali: al contrario, è senz'altro in buona compagnia.

La difesa dei diritti umani è necessaria e inderogabile, ma come è stato ricordato, oltre al ruolo di Teheran nell'accoglienza dei profughi afghani, l'accordo sul nucleare sta globalmente funzionando. Sconfessarlo aprirebbe di nuovo la strada alle fazioni più radicali nel paese, aumentando esponenzialmente il rischio di un'escalation nella regione, con conseguenze imprevedibili per non dire apocalittiche.

Come Unione abbiamo il dovere di tenere il punto e di essere bilanciati nel nostro approccio. Solo così possiamo essere portatori di pace e non di ulteriori tensioni in Medio Oriente.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr, im Namen der ENF-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Nach zwölf Jahren Verhandlungen, zahlreichen Besichtigungen und Kontrollen durch internationale Atomenergiebehörden kündigt Präsident Trump nun mit Hüftschuss an, dieses Abkommen zu blockieren und zu ignorieren. Ich kann der Union nur raten, hier nicht mitzutun und zum Abkommen zu stehen. Es besteht sonst die Gefahr, dass dieses Vakuum, das entstehen wird, vor allem von Russland und von China ausgefüllt werden wird.

Im Gegenzug muss sich der Iran natürlich an die Verpflichtungen aus dem Abkommen halten. Ich erwarte vom Iran auch, dass er außenpolitisch aktiv wird und zu einer friedlichen Stabilisierung der kriegsgeschüttelten Region des Nahen Ostens wesentlich beiträgt. Gespräche abzubrechen, Verträge nicht einzuhalten ist nicht gut, vor allem dann, wenn man Lösungen erzielen will. Und zu Lösungen gehört, auch wenn es dem einen oder anderen nicht gefällt, dass der Iran mit an den Tisch genommen wird.

 
  
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  Udo Voigt (NI). – Herr Präsident, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Vereinten Nationen haben bestätigt: Der Iran hält sich voll an die Abmachungen.

Wir haben jetzt ein Abkommen zwölf Jahre lang ausgehandelt, und zur gleichen Zeit erklärt Donald Trump den Iran zum Feind der USA, erklärt die Revolutionären Garden zur Terrororganisation, kritisiert das ballistische Raketenprogramm und die Kooperation mit Nordkorea. Aber all dies hat ja mit dem Atomdeal nichts zu tun.

Was der Iran jetzt zwei Jahre nach dem Abschluss des Abkommens braucht, ist die Aufhebung der Sanktionen. Der Iran braucht Arbeitsplätze, der Iran braucht Perspektiven für die Jugend. Der Iran hält sich an das Abkommen. Der Iran hat den IS im Irak und Syrien mit bekämpft und mit vernichtet. Er hat zusammen mit Russland den Frieden in Syrien in erreichbare Nähe gebracht, und das Prinzip der Nichteinmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten sollte auch wieder mehr und mehr Primat der Außenpolitik der EU werden.

 
  
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  José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (PPE). – Señor presidente, señorías. Creo que en este debate se plantea una cuestión fundamental, que es la de saber si el acuerdo nuclear con Irán, que es uno de los grandes logros de la diplomacia internacional en los últimos años, en el que, por cierto, la Unión Europea ha jugado un papel muy destacado, debe ser tratado separadamente o debe ser tratado conjuntamente con la situación en la región, en Irak, en Yemen, en Siria o en Líbano.

La posición del presidente de los Estados Unidos ha sido muy clara. Este asunto tiene que abordarse conjuntamente y por eso no ha querido certificar el acuerdo y lo ha reenviado al Congreso.

Sin embargo, quiero decir que coincido con la posición de la vicepresidenta y alta representante Mogherini en el sentido de que es importante preservar los logros de este acuerdo, abordarlo separadamente y, efectivamente, tratar de evitar la proliferación nuclear en la región. Por lo tanto, apoyo y realmente comparto la opinión de la alta representante.

Sin embargo, eso no debe llevarnos a la situación de desconocer la inquietante situación —a la que otros colegas se han referido— de los derechos humanos en Irán. La alta representante se ha ofrecido a tener un diálogo crítico y a abordar esta situación en una próxima comparecencia. Nos preocupan los derechos de las minorías, la aplicación de la pena capital y la situación de la oposición.

Espero que las conversaciones de la alta representante con el vicepresidente de los Estados Unidos, Mike Pence, con el secretario Tillerson y con el Congreso puedan redundar en una posición más equilibrada y más próxima a la posición que mantenemos en la Unión Europea.

 
  
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  Knut Fleckenstein (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Vor noch nicht einmal einem Monat hat die Internationale Atomenergie-Organisation jetzt zum neunten Mal die vollständige Einhaltung des sogenannten Atomdeals durch den Iran bestätigt.

Die Frist für den US-Kongress, darüber zu entscheiden, was nach der Dezertifizierung durch Präsident Trump folgen soll, ist vergangene Woche ohne Ergebnis abgelaufen. Nun muss der Präsident entscheiden, ob die Aufhebung der Sanktionen bestehen bleiben soll.

Wir appellieren an unsere amerikanischen Freunde, den Vertrag aufrechtzuerhalten und mit uns gemeinsam Lösungen für die anderen aktuellen Herausforderungen mit dem Iran zu finden.

Natürlich verurteilen auch wir das Raketenprogramm des Iran. Wir verschließen unsere Augen nicht vor der Menschenrechtslage und der Einmischung des Iran in andere Konflikte der Region oder der Hetze gegenüber Israel. Aber es wird keine Neuverhandlungen geben, wie wir wissen. Es ist doch absurd zu sagen: Weil wir in anderen Bereichen keinen Erfolg haben, zerstören wir das Einzige, was bisher wirklich positiv erreicht worden ist.

Insofern ist es der Vertrag, der für uns zurzeit die einzige Möglichkeit darstellt, mit dem Iran auf Augenhöhe Schritt für Schritt eine neue Vertrauensbasis aufzubauen – Frau Mogherini hat das ja auch schon erwähnt. Nur durch Gespräche mit dem Iran können wir nachhaltige Lösungen finden, und dafür muss vor allem Europa ein ernst zu nehmender Partner bleiben.

 
  
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  Bas Belder (ECR). – Hoge Vertegenwoordiger, het zal u stellig niet onbekend zijn dat het abjecte regime van Noord-Korea sinds jaar en dag militair nauw samenwerkt met het Iraanse schrikbewind. Dat gebeurt op nucleair gebied, zo ook bij de ontwikkeling van ultramoderne raketsystemen. Dat brengt mij tot twee cruciale vragen aan u, mevrouw de Hoge Vertegenwoordiger. Ten eerste, hoe kijkt u aan tegen de optie, tegen het gevaar dat Teheran Pyongyang, Noord-Korea dus, gebruikt als nucleair backdoor plan, dus dat Pyongyang gebruikt wordt voor de voortzetting van het nucleaire programma van Iran? Tweede vraag: pleegt u over deze optie, dit gevaar, ook overleg met de Amerikaanse veiligheidsautoriteiten, die de Noord-Koreaanse-Iraanse militaire samenwerking terecht nauwlettend en met groeiende zorgen in het oog houden?

Hoge Vertegenwoordiger, het illegale nucleaire pad van Noord-Korea is ons bekend. Komt nu een Iraanse versie?

 
  
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  Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, pour nous, cet accord est d’une importance stratégique énorme. Cet accord est le symbole que le multilatéralisme est efficace, que la diplomatie peut renforcer la stabilité et la paix dans le monde. Cet accord est le signe que, par des négociations, on peut contribuer au désarmement nucléaire. Eh bien moi, je voudrais vous féliciter pour votre travail et je voudrais encourager les dirigeants européens à vous soutenir plus fermement et publiquement pour sauver cet accord.

Mais au-delà de cet accord est posé le problème du désarmement nucléaire dans le monde. Et comme le disait Beatrice Fihn, directrice de la campagne internationale pour l'abolition des armes nucléaires (ICAN) qui vient de recevoir le prix Nobel de la paix 2017, «il faut choisir entre deux résultats: la fin des armes nucléaires ou notre fin à nous tous». Dimanche, à Oslo, elle appelait les États-Unis à choisir la liberté plutôt que la peur, et la Russie à choisir le désarmement plutôt que la destruction. J’ajouterais que l’Europe doit choisir et doit montrer la voie du désarmement nucléaire, et je compte sur vous, Madame Mogherini.

 
  
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  James Carver (EFDD). – Mr President, the Iran nuclear deal was lauded by some as giving peace in our time throughout the Middle East. However, we must now ask: have we traded nightmarish prophecy for possible calamity? Or, indeed, has anything really changed at all? The deal deliberately only covered nuclear material and other components of nuclear capability, thus the immediate aftermath saw breaches of the UN Resolution on intercontinental ballistic missile testing and a bolstered Iranian foreign policy, not least including the proxy war in Yemen and further turmoil in the Middle East. And all this without even considering what happens after the sunset clause is closed in the not too distant future.

The Trump administration was correct to force a debate on this deal. Accordingly, it is time that this place looks seriously at this issue beyond its mirage as the gold standard of EU diplomacy by addressing the real effects that it is having in the Middle East.

 
  
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  Λάμπρος Φουντούλης (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η στάση των Δυτικών και ειδικότερα των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών της Αμερικής στο θέμα της πυρηνικής συμφωνίας με το Ιράν είναι απλώς απαράδεκτη. Πριν από δύο χρόνια όλα τα συμβαλλόμενα μέρη υπέγραψαν συμφωνία μετά από μακροχρόνιες διαπραγματεύσεις. Τη συμφωνία αυτή το Ιράν μέχρι σήμερα εξακολουθεί να την τηρεί κατά γράμμα, χωρίς να έχει παραβιάσει κανένα σημείο της. Αντίθετα οι ΗΠΑ, παραβιάζοντας πρώτες εκείνες τη συμφωνία, επέβαλαν πρόσφατα νέες κυρώσεις εναντίον του. Ακόμη και ο πρόεδρος της Γαλλίας Μακρόν ζήτησε να συμπληρωθεί η συμφωνία με δύο νέα άρθρα. Αυτό δείχνει πόση αξία έχει η υπογραφή των δυτικών κυβερνήσεων.

Εάν δεν ήταν ικανοποιημένοι κάποιοι από τη συμφωνία, δεν έπρεπε εξαρχής να την υπογράψουν. Από τη στιγμή όμως που την υπέγραψαν, θεωρώ δεδομένο πως πρέπει να τη σεβαστούν. Το Ιράν δεν έχει δείξει πως προσπαθεί πλέον να αποκτήσει πυρηνικά όπλα ούτε πως αποτελεί κίνδυνο για τις χώρες της Δύσης.

Κρίνω λοιπόν πως κάθε νέος περιορισμός αποσκοπεί απλώς στην εξυπηρέτηση των επεκτατικών σχεδίων των ΗΠΑ και των συμμάχων τους. Ας μην ξεχνάμε πως οι χώρες που αντιδρούν σε αυτή τη συμφωνία διαθέτουν ήδη πυρηνικά όπλα, ενώ οι ΗΠΑ είναι η μοναδική χώρα που έχει χρησιμοποιήσει εν καιρώ πολέμου ατομικές βόμβες εξαϋλώνοντας δύο πόλεις μαζί με τους κατοίκους τους.

 
  
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  David McAllister (PPE). – Mr President, first of all, I would like to thank the High Representative and also her Secretary General, Helga Schmid, for their tireless commitment to preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Be assured that you have the full support of a broad majority of this House.

As we have heard – and many speakers have pointed this out – the JCPOA is a multilateral agreement endorsed by the UN Security Council and it should be preserved by all means. In every future action, we should remember that the negotiation process took around 12 years. We should not tire of making clear to our US counterparts – and this is exactly what a Committee on Foreign Affairs mission to Washington did last month – that, firstly, Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA, as reported repeatedly by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and, secondly, Iran’s ballistic missile tests are outside the scope of the JCPOA.

However, Iran’s regional posture, its ballistic missile programmes and the human rights situation remain deeply worrying. I remain concerned by the tensions in the region and the deteriorating relations between Iran and its neighbours, notably the military build—up in the region and confrontational rhetoric by all sides. Nevertheless, the international community would not be in a better place to deal with any of these issues without the JCPOA in place.

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Meinen ersten Redebeitrag im Europäischen Parlament habe ich zu den Iran-Sanktionen gehalten; das war vor sechs Jahren. Ich habe gegen den Einsatz militärischer Mittel argumentiert. Vieles hat sich seither geändert, vor allem dank der Bemühungen der Europäischen Union, insbesondere von Ihnen, Frau Mogherini.

Das Atomabkommen war ein großer Erfolg, und es darf nicht gefährdet werden. Mit ihm waren viele Erwartungen verknüpft: dass die Sanktionen beendet werden und die Bevölkerung davon profitiert und dass eine Entspannung in der Region damit verbunden ist. Das alles ist nicht eingetreten. Es besteht die Gefahr des Scheiterns und damit erneuter Instabilität. Der Iran hat seinen Teil geleistet und läuft jetzt Gefahr, in geopolitischen Auseinandersetzungen aufgerieben zu werden. Was wir dringend brauchen, ist Deeskalierung in den Beziehungen der Staaten der Region zueinander, aber auch im Inneren – Stichwort Menschenrechte. Eine Konfrontationsstrategie hilft nur den Hardlinern.

 
  
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  Anders Primdahl Vistisen (ECR). – Hr. formand! Iran er en terrorstat. En stat, der terroriserer sin egen befolkning, en stat, der terroriserer sine naboer, og en stat, der sponserer terrorisme i Europa og resten af verden. Derfor kan vi ikke, når vi diskuterer Iran-aftalen, komme uden om, at den i al for høj grad er blevet brugt til at komme uden om at tale om de mange andre problemer, der spreder sig fra Iran. Problemer som menneskerettighedskrænkelser, finansiering af terrororganisationer og hele regimet omkring revolutionsgarden og ayatollahen, som er dybt problematisk ud fra alle de standarder, vi normalt i EU bruger til at vurdere vores modparter på. Derfor bør vi som Europa-Parlament holde Kommissionen op på, at Iran-aftalen ikke kan stå alene. Presset skal også ligge på alle de andre områder, hvor Iran bliver ved med at overtræde helt basale krav om human opførsel og basale menneskerettigheder.

 
  
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  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Im mniej przewidywalna jest polityka prezydenta Trumpa, tym większa odpowiedzialność spoczywa na Unii Europejskiej. Rozmawiamy dzisiaj o najbardziej zapalnym regionie świata, gdzie rodzą się rozmaite zagrożenia dla naszego bezpieczeństwa. Cieszy mnie jako szefa Delegacji do spraw stosunków z Iranem, że Unia Europejska mówi jednym głosem w sprawie tak fundamentalnej jak porozumienie nuklearne. Nie ma więc problemu z ustaleniem numeru telefonu do Europy. Uważam, że ten układ jest zwycięstwem cierpliwej, wytrawnej dyplomacji i rzeczywistym filarem międzynarodowej strategii nierozprzestrzeniania broni jądrowej, a także zwycięstwem tych sił w Iranie, które opowiadają się za stopniowym otwieraniem tego wielkiego kraju i za jego modernizacją. I właśnie w tym duchu –engagement, a nie disengagement – rozmawialiśmy podczas niedawnej wizyty w Teheranie z władzami parlamentu i przedstawicielami rządu. Rozmowy dotyczyły nie tylko spraw, które mogą zbliżać, ale też zdecydowanie podnoszono kwestie sporne, czyli przede wszystkim dwuznaczną rolę Iranu w tak zapalnym regionie, po drugie nadużywanie kary śmierci, po trzecie szeroko rozumiane prawa człowieka. Pan Ahmadreza Djalali też był na mojej liście tematów poruszanych przy okazji rozmów z rozmaitymi oficjelami tego kraju. Jutro zresztą będzie również możliwość poruszenia tego problemu podczas wideokonferencji z ambasadorem Iranu przy Unii Europejskiej. Zwycięża jednak dialog. Taką mam nadzieję.

 
  
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  Francisco Assis (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Alta Representante, o acordo nuclear estabelecido com o Irão em 2015 teve o efeito de gerar um compromisso multilateral onde antes não existia senão antagonismo, desconfiança mútua e uma preocupante escalada retórica.

O programa nuclear iraniano passou de uma situação de grande opacidade para uma situação que permite a sua monotorização e até aplicação de restrições e recorde-se que ele foi assinado numa altura em que se acreditava que esse país estava mesmo à beira de obter secretamente a bomba nuclear.

Constatado o falhanço do embargo, que se estendeu por muito tempo, e que castigou sobretudo o povo iraniano, esse acordo apoiado pela União Europeia desde o primeiro momento, constituiu um notável sucesso diplomático e, como tal, foi saudado pela generalidade da comunidade internacional.

Na sua vertigem incendiária, o Presidente Trump propôs ao Congresso dos Estados Unidos a aprovação de novas sanções contra o Irão com o argumento de que este acordo não vai ao encontro dos interesses norte-americanos. Perante isto, a União Europeia tem de deixar claro que não vacilará no apoio a este acordo. O seu eventual fracasso implicaria um retrocesso de décadas, devolveria o programa nuclear à situação de opacidade em que se encontrava e traria de volta o temor de que o Irão poderia desenvolver armamento nuclear, contribuindo, assim, para criar ainda mais instabilidade em todo o Médio Oriente.

 
  
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  Jan Zahradil (ECR). – Mr President, it seems that Ms Mogherini is overdosing on some unjustifiable optimism vis-à-vis Iran. This Treaty does not work. It was set to help to improve the situation, particularly in the sphere of human rights and to make Iran more peaceful. What we have seen instead was the number of executions rising, doubling in just three years, and we have seen Iran continuing its anti-Western policy. Iran never gave up its nuclear ambitions and was launching ballistic missiles instead, it supported terrorists – like Hezbollah – and it tried to achieve the status of a regional power, penetrating Iraq, Syria and Yemen, which could shake the very fragile regional balance of power.

It seems, therefore, that Iran is rather encouraged by this deal, not curbed by it, and therefore I do not see any reason why we should be worried about preserving the deal. It is a failure. We should in fact change it, or scrap it.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Arnaud Danjean (PPE), question "carton bleu". – J’ai une question très simple et très précise à poser à notre collègue. Dans quel article du plan d’action global commun a-t-il lu que l’accord sur le nucléaire faisait peser des contraintes sur les autres domaines de contentieux avec l’Iran, comme celui qu’il a nommé, par exemple, les droits de l’homme? Je n’ai aucune sympathie pour le régime iranien, mais j’aime bien qu’on soit précis, donc je me demande dans quelle partie du plan d’action global commun figurent les dispositions dont M. Zahradil vient de parler.

 
  
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  Jan Zahradil (ECR), blue-card answer. – I can only tell you that this deal was supposed to create a certain atmosphere, and it has been said that while it deals with a particular issue, the nuclear ambition of Iran, it could help to change the atmosphere in Iran and pave the way for improvement in the sphere of human rights, for instance. So, regardless of whether there is an article or not, it seems that the overall atmosphere and those implications that were expected to happen, simply did not. That is the whole thing.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Frau Vizepräsidentin, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ja, der Iran ist eine Diktatur. Der Iran ist verantwortlich für die Stellvertreterkriege, gemeinsam mit Saudi-Arabien, insbesondere in der Region. Der Iran führt Raketentests durch, die nach den UN-Resolutionen nicht stattfinden sollten, und er verletzt auf dramatische Weise die Menschenrechte. Das ist alles wahr. Aber dennoch muss dieser Atomdeal da sein. Dieser Atomdeal ist nämlich, um eine Verbreitung der Atomwaffen zu vermeiden, auch ein Signal in Richtung Nordkorea. Wenn dies aufgekündigt wird, wie kann man mit jemand anderem dann eine Vereinbarung treffen, dass der keine Atombomben baut? Und wenn der Iran Atombomben baut, werden Saudi-Arabien und alle Länder in der Region auch Atombomben bauen. Das ist bisher vermieden worden. In der Vereinbarung steht, dass in dem Augenblick, in dem sie die Regeln verletzen, die Sanktionen jederzeit wieder eingeführt werden können – sodass wir hier entweder Zeit gewinnen oder auf Dauer vielleicht Atomwaffen im Iran völlig vermeiden, um auf diese Art und Weise nicht zu einer dramatischen Veränderung in der Region – und weit darüber hinaus – zu kommen.

Präsident Trump hat jetzt den Ball wieder in seinem Garten. Frau Mogherini, ich hoffe, dass es in den Gesprächen gelingt, ihn doch dazu zu bringen, dass er nicht die Schritte vollzieht, die er jetzt wieder vollziehen kann, nachdem es im Kongress keine konstruktiven Entscheidungen gab. Ich stelle fest, wie so viele: Der Iran hält sich an die Vereinbarung. Wir sollten uns an die Vereinbarung halten, diese Vereinbarung ist Teil des internationalen Rechts. Nur die Amerikaner wollen aussteigen, sonst niemand. Aus diesem Grunde sollten wir unsere Politik vorantreiben, dieses Abkommen zu sichern, um einen weiteren Ausbau von Atomwaffen in dieser Welt zu verhindern.

 
  
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  Flavio Zanonato (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, grazie Alto rappresentante Mogherini per la bella relazione con cui ha introdotto questo dibattito.

L'accordo sul nucleare iraniano è stato un successo diplomatico dell'Unione europea. Con i recenti sviluppi legati alle dichiarazioni del Presidente degli Stati Uniti, che ha espresso la volontà di ritirare gli USA dell'accordo, lo sforzo diplomatico dell'Unione europea deve essere ancora più forte.

Sono d'accordo con l'Alto rappresentante nel ribadire che il piano di azione congiunto globale è un accordo multilaterale adottato con una risoluzione del Consiglio di sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite, e che perciò non appartiene a nessuno Stato e non può essere modificato unilateralmente.

Dobbiamo confermare il nostro supporto all'accordo: oltre a essere alla base di un rinnovato rapporto economico con l'Iran, l'implementazione del JCPOA, con il conseguente alleviamento delle sanzioni, sta avendo un impatto politico positivo sui cittadini iraniani. Inoltre, credo che l'apertura dell'Iran a una dimensione internazionale possa essere di stimolo al miglioramento della situazione interna e un'opportunità unica per dare inizio a un processo di pieno inserimento dell'Iran in un contesto internazionale e globale.

L'Unione europea, naturalmente, deve perseguire l'instaurarsi di un dialogo strategico e strutturato, che deve anche andare oltre gli aspetti di facciata, e che quindi deve affrontare anche le questioni legate alla violazione dei diritti umani. Non si può ignorare il preoccupante ricorso alla pena di morte, la persecuzione delle minoranze, gli arresti degli attivisti e la discriminazione nei confronti delle donne. Ma per questo ritengo fondamentale che proseguano gli sforzi per un rapporto con l'Iran stabilito come negli accordi.

 
  
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  Mark Demesmaeker (ECR). – 247 executies in de eerste helft van dit jaar, van wie 3 vrouwen, 3 kinderen en 12 openbare terechtstellingen. Het rapport van de VN over Iran leest als een thriller.

De laatste naam die mag worden toegevoegd aan de lijst van mensen die wachten op hun executie is die van Ahmadreza Djalali. Arts, Europees staatsburger, vader, echtgenoot. Ook in mijn land bekend door zijn medische gastcolleges aan de Vrije Universiteit van Brussel. Ter dood veroordeeld op basis van dubieuze bewijsvoering. Zijn advocaat liet na om beroep aan te tekenen waardoor zijn executie uitvoerbaar is. Ik citeer de rector van de VUB vandaag in de Vlaamse pers: "Als bevlogen arts en gedreven expert in de rampengeneeskunde had hij slechts één drijfveer: mensenlevens redden. Vandaag is het zijn eigen leven dat aan een zijden draadje hangt. En er is geen arts die hem kan redden".

Daarom, mevrouw Mogherini, deze dringende oproep, een emotionele oproep: gebruik al uw invloed, gebruik de hefbomen die u heeft om het leven van deze man te redden! De nucleaire deal met Iran mag uw ogen niet sluiten voor de gruwelijke mensenrechtenschendingen, want dat zou neerkomen op schuldig verzuim en op medeplichtigheid.

 
  
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  Arnaud Danjean (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, je l’ai dit tout à l’heure, il n’y a aucune sympathie à avoir vis-à-vis de la théocratie iranienne, et la fermeté constitue sans aucun doute la meilleure des attitudes à avoir vis-à-vis de Téhéran.

Je viens d’un pays qui a été – et j’en suis fier – le plus dur dans la négociation sur l’accord nucléaire iranien. Mais si nous ne parlons qu’avec les pays avec lesquels nous partageons les valeurs, les intérêts de sécurité et de la sympathie et si nous ne nous engageons diplomatiquement qu’avec ces derniers, nous n’allons pas parler à grand monde. Nous allons finir bien seuls dans ce monde réel tel qu’il est.

Aujourd’hui, il ne s’agit pas d’être naïf sur l’Iran, ni d’être confus non plus. Il faut aborder ce sujet de façon très rigoureuse et sérier les problèmes et les contentieux pour en parler ouvertement et – comme je l’ai dit – avec fermeté.

Sur le plan d’action global commun, c’est un accord de compromis dont rien ne permet de dire aujourd’hui qu’il est violé ou qu’il comportera de mauvaises conséquences. Nous devons donc aujourd’hui appliquer le plan d’action global commun, point barre! L’attitude européenne de ce point de vue-là est exemplaire.

Sur le balistique, il y a – vous l’avez dit, Madame la Haute représentante – violation de la résolution 2231 du Conseil de sécurité. Donc, là-dessus, il faut être ferme et réagir.

Sur la recomposition régionale, oui, bien sûr, l’Iran progresse du Yémen au Liban, mais l’Iran progresse aussi sur nos erreurs, sur nos indécisions et sur nos velléités. L’Iran est donc un acteur, qui n’est ni meilleur ni pire dans l’absolu que bien d’autres acteurs dans la région. Là aussi, nous devons faire preuve de réalisme.

Nous avons des lignes rouges sur lesquelles il faut être totalement intransigeant, notamment la sécurité d’Israël. Pour le reste, je pense que nous avons intérêt à engager l’Iran – comme je l’ai dit – avec la plus grande fermeté, mais aussi avec le plus grand réalisme.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Mr President, I give full support for High Representative Mogherini’s efforts in implementing the nuclear agreement with Iran, which is strategic for the EU and global security.

The EU should encourage Iran to play a responsible role in its region and beyond, in contrast with the Wahhabism fuelling terrorism and escalation by Saudi Arabian proxies. But the EU should also demand that Iran stops supporting the military butcher Assad in Syria.

The EU cannot also be silent about human rights concerns in Iran, but to be credible and effective it must not turn a blind eye to the provocative activities of sects such as the MEK (Mojahedin-e Khalq), which act within this Parliament, and last week even physically assaulted an opponent just outside the Parliament. This criminal act happened when the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi was in the Parliament. I demand from President Tajani the expulsion of MEK agents who work on EP premises. This is also a security matter for all of us.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE). – Mr President, today, more than ever, the EU needs a comprehensive, value—based and principled approach to the Iranian dictatorship. The nuclear deal has to be kept – it should not be abandoned, let us be clear – but it is not a substitute for such a principled approach. We should not be hypercritical, clinging formally to the letter of the Treaty and taking it as an excuse to look away from the real situation. The two belong together.

Regarding the Iranian Dictatorship, the Treaty has also provided a breathing space for the dictatorship to strengthen its hold on the population, and Iran continues to be the biggest exporter of terrorism and conflict in the Middle East. It has continued with its ballistic missile programme, and our biggest worry is a dramatic worsening of the human rights situation. The EU cannot continue to keep a moderate and low—profile protest. We should take a very principled approach to this: the hundreds of people hanged find no relief whether their butchers have been called moderates in the West or not.

 
  
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  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). – Señor presidente, el acuerdo con Irán, apoyado por unanimidad por el Consejo de Seguridad en su Resolución 2231, representó un importante éxito diplomático. Despejaba la grave amenaza de un Irán nuclear y evitaba la escalada armamentística en una de las regiones más inestables del mundo. Además, sirvió para subrayar el papel de la Unión Europea como actor global, dado el importante papel desarrollado durante la negociación.

Ya se ha dicho en este debate que, según el Organismo Internacional de Energía Atómica, —así lo ha manifestado de forma reiterada— Irán está cumpliendo los términos del acuerdo. Por todas estas razones, debemos apoyar el mantenimiento del acuerdo. Sin embargo, esto no puede ocultar las preocupaciones que a día de hoy despiertan el programa balístico de Irán y su negativa actuación en el plano regional, pese a las esperanzas creadas por el acuerdo de una actitud más constructiva de Irán en el escenario regional. Su importante influencia sobre diversos actores de la región es conocida. Necesitamos un Irán mucho más constructivo en Oriente Próximo. Un Irán que no contribuya a la polarización y al enfrentamiento en una región asolada por la violencia y en la que se entrecruzan divisiones nacionales, religiosas y étnicas.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já jsem velmi pozorně poslouchal celou tu debatu a dovolte mi, paní vysoká představitelko, několik vět. To vaše vystoupení mi připadlo mimořádně optimistické.

Já na jedné straně podporuji, aby tato dohoda byla zachována, ale na druhé straně nemůžeme relativizovat to, že Írán je dneska teokratická diktatura, kde nejsou respektována lidská práva, kde je obrovské množství poprav, destabilizace regionu a mnohá a mnohá negativa tohoto zločineckého režimu. Nezlobte se, tváří v tvář tomuto mít radost z toho, že nám roste obchod s touto zemí, že nám narůstají investice, mi připadá, že tímto v zásadě relativizujeme, jak zločinný režim dnes v Íránu existuje.

Takže buďme pro to, aby ona dohoda existovala, já ji považuji za velký úspěch i Vaší diplomacie, ale na druhou stranu, buďte pořád obezřetní, protože dohoda s takovýmto režimem může v jednu chvíli existovat, ale takovýto režim ji může kdykoliv vypovědět.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (ALDE). – Sinds de nucleaire deal blijft het eigenlijk oorverdovend stil over de talrijke mensenrechtenschendingen in Iran. Ik wil het hier vandaag hebben over de cijfers. Sinds de laatste 4 jaar zijn de executies verdubbeld. In 2016 spreken we over 567 executies. Ik wil het hier vandaag over één naam hebben, die van een arts en gastdocent van de VUB in Brussel, Ahmadreza Djalali. Hij is één van de mensen die momenteel ter dood veroordeeld zijn. Zijn advocaat heeft geen verzet aangetekend en zijn doodvonnis is vanaf nu uitvoerbaar. Vandaag hebben alle universiteiten van Vlaanderen ertoe opgeroepen om te pleiten voor zijn vrijlating. Mevrouw Mogherini, ik maak van dit momentum gebruik om uw hulp te vragen. Help onze professor en arts vrij te krijgen. Help us! Thank you.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). – Mr President, we have to admit that the agreement limiting Iran to civilian nuclear activity was a major achievement of European and international multilateral diplomacy and will guarantee peace and stability. The deal works and delivers on its promises, fully or partially, and this agreement should be preserved.

Despite this milestone in practical cooperation between the European Union and Iran, the scope of our bilateral relations is well below potential, and we have to ask ourselves, is it not high time to focus more on the situation of ordinary Iranians? To speak about the deteriorating human rights situation and the grievous condition of activists, about poverty, about corruption, the crackdown on the opposition, repression of women and religious minorities, as well as the role Iran plays in Syria and some other countries of the region.

 
  
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  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου (GUE/NGL). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η συμφωνία με το Ιράν πρέπει να στηριχθεί και να υλοποιηθεί. Δεν υπάρχει καμιά δυνατότητα επαναδιαπραγμάτευσης. Μια τέτοια προοπτική θα φέρει πολύ μεγαλύτερους κινδύνους από όσους θέλει να αποφύγει. Ιδιαίτερα η θέση του προέδρου Τραμπ μαζί δυστυχώς με μερικές ακόμα τοποθετήσεις του μας φέρνει όλους μπροστά σε νέα δυσεπίλυτα προβλήματα.

Τούτων λεχθέντων δεν πρέπει να ξεχνάμε πως στο Ιράν παραβιάζονται βασικά ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και πως η μάχη κατά των ναρκωτικών χρειάζεται και την ιρανική υποστήριξη. Κλείνω τονίζοντας, αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, πως ο κίνδυνος ενός πυρηνικού Ολοκαυτώματος είναι σήμερα υπαρκτός και οξύνεται και από τη δράση της Βορείου Κορέας και θα πρέπει άμεσα η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να αναλάβει διεθνή πρωτοβουλία για τον πυρηνικό αφοπλισμό.

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Alta Representante, o acordo nuclear com o Irão constituiu, seguramente, um dos maiores feitos diplomáticos da última década. No entanto, a decisão do Presidente Trump em não validar este acordo implicará um grave retrocesso na luta contra a proliferação nuclear e tornará, certamente, o mundo mais inseguro. Cabe-nos a nós, por isso, a nós europeus, continuar a liderar a luta contra a proliferação nuclear.

Contudo, a implementação do plano de ação conjunta geral e o seu impacto nas relações institucionais e comerciais devem ser estritamente condicionados à defesa intransigente dos direitos humanos e ir muito mais além das visitas relâmpago dos líderes europeus com agendas centradas nas oportunidades de investimento ou na promoção de alianças energéticas.

Mas, Senhora Alta Representante, não nos esqueçamos que o Irão não é uma democracia e que a Europa não pode fechar os olhos às constantes violações dos direitos humanos do regime ditatorial dos aiatolás, mantendo esta inaceitável postura do business as usual, face a um regime opressor que detém um triste recorde de violações dos direitos humanos e a liderança mundial na aplicação da pena capital.

Caros colegas, termino, repetindo o que disse há mais de um ano: os direitos humanos não são negociáveis, eles fazem parte da nossa responsabilidade coletiva enquanto seres humanos e europeus.

 
  
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  Milan Zver (PPE). – Razumem vaše stališče, gospa visoka predstavnica, da je sporazum z Iranom, nuklearni sporazum, nujen. Razumem tudi, da ocenjujete, da celo dela v nekaterih segmentih, ampak ne razumem pa tega, zakaj ne bi imeli do Irana nekoliko bolj celovit, holističen pristop, ko ocenjujete njegovo vlogo v regiji in pa tudi v samem Iranu.

Veste, da ta teokracija praktično sistematično in sistemsko krši človekove pravice, slišali smo na desetine vsak mesec usmrčenih in tako naprej, vi pa v molk. Istočasno tudi režim iranski deluje kot destabilizator v regiji, razvija balistične rakete, financira Hezbolah in druge teroristične organizacije, pere denar za terorizem, podpira Asada s krvavimi rokami in tako naprej. Skratka, Iran ni država, ki bi bila faktor stabilnosti, demokracije in miru, ampak ravno nasprotno, nekaj bo treba spremeniti.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID-MARIA SASSOLI
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Marijana Petir (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, premda je namjera Iranskog nuklearnog sporazuma bila dobra u smislu zaustavljanja širenja nuklearnog naoružanja i postizanju mira, taj sporazum nije do sada dao željene rezultate.

Riječ je o sporazumu s nedemokratskim režimom, režimom koji je posljednjih godina i više nego udvostručio broj smaknuća te dosegao najviši stupanj u posljednjih 25 godina.

Kršenja ljudskih prava, narušavanja prava žena, kao i manjinskih prava, ostala su po strani u postizanju dogovora o nuklearnom programu te su i danas u drugom planu, dok iranske vlasti donose još strože zakone protiv prava žena, a Iran je i dalje vodeći egzekutor maloljetnika koji su počinili prijestupe.

Prema godišnjem izvješću State Departmenta, Iran je i dalje vodeći svjetski financijer terorističkih organizacija i njihovih aktivnosti te djeluje kao destabilizirajući faktor na području Bliskog Istoka. Iran nije učinio gotovo nikakav napredak, a stranke sporazuma to prešućuju zbog straha da Iran ne aktivira nuklearni program, što nikako ne možemo nazvati partnerskim odnosom.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, let me clarify a couple of things that most of the speakers here have underlined, but which I think might be usefully remembered for others. First of all, the purpose of the nuclear deal with Iran – the name says it very clearly – is nuclear, and only nuclear. Was this a right or wise choice or not? It was taken 14 years ago at the beginning of the negotiations, and I don’t believe I disclose a secret if I say that it was the decision of the Gulf countries and the American administration at the time to limit the negotiations to purely nuclear issues. It was Iran at that time insisting on having a negotiation that would have included other aspects.

Was it a wise choice or not? Not for me or for you to judge it today, but the decision back then – not by Iran, by the way – was of a different kind. Since it was purely nuclear, we have facts certified by an agency that has proven to be crucial and will continue to prove to be crucial in other nuclear proliferation issues like the IAEA, certifying that nuclear commitments of the nuclear deal have been met constantly. It would not be wise to weaken the credibility of the agency, of the IAEA, when a few months or years from now we will hopefully need to push for the IAEA to enter and monitor other nuclear programmes. So if the agency testifies and certifies nine times after inspections, after technical work – and that needs to be happening in fully independent, non-political arguments for that on all sides – that the nuclear commitments under the nuclear agreements are met, then the deal is working. Full stop. That is a fact.

Then, second, does this mean that we are positive about Iran, that we trust Iran, that there is an optimism about the atmosphere? It is exactly because it is a country like Iran that you need to have a nuclear deal, because you do not want a country like Iran in that region to develop a nuclear weapon. If it was Switzerland, maybe we would be in a different position. It is not about being naive; it is the contrary. It is the lack of trust that makes the deal indispensable. And this was the reasoning of all the years of negotiations. This was the reason why the US administration engaged in this at that time, not having diplomatic relations with Iran, which is something that on the contrary most of the European Union Member States have. And there is one fundamental argument that some of you have raised: if we start saying that, with any change of administration, agreements and international commitments are put into question, we are not doing ourselves a favour, because nobody would accept negotiating any agreement, any international agreement with any administration of the future or of the present. In Latin we say: Pacta sunt servanda. That is the basis of any legal system of the world.

So it is exactly because there is and was no trust that an agreement was needed. Then it is true, not in an article of the JCPOA – I know it almost by heart by now – but in the preamble of the 104 pages of agreement, that there is a reference, half a sentence, that suggests that this agreement could open the way, could form the basis for a different kind of engagement, a more constructive engagement in the region. That sentence – here maybe I disclose a secret – was introduced at Iran’s request, because the Iranian leadership at the time, which is the same that has been reconfirmed today, intended to use the agreement as a way to ask their own population, their own public opinion, for a mandate to engage with the rest of the world in a political battle which we know very well has happened inside Iran and is continuing to happen. Some of you referred to the fact that undermining the full implementation of the nuclear deal also weakens those in Iran’s political scene who are trying to commit in their own way – which is not ours – towards an opening and an engagement with the rest of the world.

Weakening or putting into question the JCPOA is a way to strengthen the hardliners in the political scene in Iran. Is it convenient for us? Not for us, for sure. Having said that, what would happen if the deal was not there? Imagine that tomorrow the deal was no longer there. Would the human rights situation in Iran improve? Probably not; on the contrary, hardliners would be stronger. Would the regional behaviour of Iran improve? For sure it would not. Would the Iranian nuclear programme continue to be monitored? No. Would the IAEA have the means to be in the country? No. Would we be sure that Iran would not develop a nuclear programme that is purely peaceful? Definitely not, and enrichment would go up again tomorrow.

So is it convenient to keep the nuclear deal in place? Yes. This is the very simple argument that is keeping the entire world committed to the full implementation of the JCPOA, and I am confident that the United States of America will also remain committed to the full implementation of the JCPOA. This is what we discussed with Secretary of State Tillerson last week in Brussels, and this is the message we got from him. We are continuing to implement the agreement, and just today in Vienna the Secretary-General of the EEAS, Schmid, who has played a crucial role in these negotiations together with an excellent team from the European Union side, is chairing at deputy level the Joint Commission of the JCPOA once again. We do it regularly, sometimes at ministerial level. We did it last time in September with all the parties around the table. So I believe it is a matter of convenience; it is not a matter of being naive or ‘liking’ a system or a country. On the contrary.

Two points I would like to clarify: one is related to the agreement. There is no sunset clause in the agreement – I know that this is often referred to. Read all the 104 pages of the agreement; there is no sunset clause to the agreement. The agreement has many different provisions with many different durations. Most of them last for a long, long time. Most of them last forever. And in the very beginning of the agreement there is the most important commitment taken by Iran: of never developing a nuclear weapon. This is a commitment that is there for ever as an NPT part.

So let’s stick to the facts. The nuclear deal, the nuclear commitment, fulfils more safety in the region and for us. That is why I said to our American friends that this is a matter of strategic relevance for European security. It is not about business, and it is not about the region; it is about security, because we do not want to see a region that is already troubled enough in a nuclear arms race. We miss just that. And then, good luck with North Korea: if we dismantle the only working deal on non-proliferation in the nuclear field, I want to see how we manage to peacefully solve the nuclear proliferation crisis that is currently ongoing. We have one deal that is preventing a nuclear proliferation, and we want to dismantle it? We must be crazy.

So I think, and I am confident, that we can continue to work to ensure that Iran continues to fulfil its commitments under the deal in full. That is the key point.

The last point I would like to mention is on human rights, because it hurts me enormously when I hear voices saying that we stay silent on human rights. Actually, we are the ones that are more vocal on human rights when it comes to Iran. Look at President Trump’s speech. Look at the American discourse on the death penalty and compare it with the credibility on the death penalty that Europe has. Sorry to be blunt, but we have entered into a time where diplomacy has a different language. We are the ones raising individual cases, and we do it even today; in Vienna, issues were raised on individual cases. We are the ones who have started a human rights dialogue with Iran that regularly takes place. We are the ones, not others. And we are the ones raising this issue constantly. I don’t see others doing this. We never, ever avoid raising issues on human rights because of other reasons. We always do that, constantly and consistently, and sometimes – most of the time – we are the only ones. So let’s at least support and recognise the work we do. That is going to continue to be a very important aspect of our engagement with the country.

But again, I would say the most important thing for me are the social and the political dynamics inside the country. The Iranian population was celebrating the Iran deal, not because of nuclear issues, but because it was representing the opportunity to open up the country to international engagement. That is the investment that is smart to do as Europeans, and that is why I would like to thank this Hemicycle in its vast majority and the parliamentary delegations that travelled both to Iran and to Washington to support what is a fully united European Union position, when the entire world is looking at us to guarantee that the full implementation of the agreement is maintained by all sides.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Grazie Vicepresidente Mogherini. La Sua maratona non è finita e Lei resterà con noi anche per le prossime discussioni.

La discussione su questo punto è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Ramona Nicole Mănescu (PPE), in writing. – Apparently, the Iran Nuclear Deal follows its course, and its implementation is flawless. I always viewed the Nuclear Deal as a pressure valve that would pave the way to a more cooperative and less belligerent Iran, more stability in the region, better life for its people, fewer human rights abuses, and more democracy.

These things are not happening! On the contrary; a much more well off Iran acts aggressively at regional level, from Yemen to Lebanon, and from Syria to Iraq. The EU is failing to raise any questions on matters like human rights or democratic principles in its relation with Iran. Our leniency towards Iran’s actions, before providing the alleged benefits, offers Teheran’s dictatorship regime the means to wreak havoc over a wide area. I believe it is in the EU’s interest to be more adamant in its relations with Iran. We must be clearer in stating the reasons for which we are backing the Nuclear Deal. We must also state the reasons for which we might back out from this deal. Iran’s answer to France’s request of dialogue, threatening Europe with an enlarged missile range is completely unacceptable. This is not a wise reaction and will not help in any way.

 
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