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Teisipäev, 16. juuli 2019 - Strasbourg Uuendatud versioon

15. Olukord Pärsia lahe piirkonnas (arutelu)
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Vizepräsidentin der Kommission und Hohen Vertreterin der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zur Lage am Persischen Golf (2019/2731(RSP)).

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, the Gulf is incredibly close to Europe. It is part of our region, and the security situation in the Gulf is closely connected with our own security. We’ve always said that preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is first and foremost for us a European and global security interest, and this has become self-evident today. We don’t want to see a military escalation in our region, nor do we want to see a nuclear arms race in a region that knows already so many tensions.

Throughout the years we have always said that without the nuclear deal the situation in the Middle East, which is already complicated enough, would be even more difficult, much more difficult than it is now. We have always said that. Now there seems to be a growing consensus on this. Even those who were sceptical – even very sceptical – about the deal, today understand that the situation would be much worse without it.

This is what I hear in all my conversations in particular with regional leaders in the Gulf, and the current tensions were very much in the minds of all the leaders, for instance of Iraq and Kuwait, whom I met during my trip to the region last Saturday and Sunday. Together we discussed how we can help avoid further escalation, including by supporting initiatives from the region itself to build a basic initial level of understanding and trust among the main actors. No one says that he wants a war. No one declares that a war is the intention. In the region nobody is saying so, beyond nobody is saying so, but the problem is that in particular in a region like that miscalculations can happen and can lead to extremely dangerous spirals of confrontation.

This is why we Europeans are inviting all relevant actors to exercise maximum restraint and to think rationally. This is why we’ve been doing everything we can to save the nuclear deal ever since the United States’ unilateral withdrawal. Yesterday we had a discussion with the foreign ministers of the 28 at the Foreign Affairs Council. Let me tell you that all 28 Member States have confirmed our common intention to do all we can collectively to preserve the nuclear deal, even in these extremely difficult circumstances.

We have an interest to do so, we feel the responsibility to do so. You all know the situation. It has probably never been as difficult as it is today. Fourteen months after the United States’ withdrawal from the deal, Iran has announced that it would gradually reduce its compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which remains the point of reference to assess Iran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments under the deal, has confirmed, after having confirmed for many years Iran’s full compliance, that Iran has now increased its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and has enriched uranium beyond the limits set in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

These actions are inconsistent with the deal, and together with the Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and the UK, I issued two extremely clear statements urging Iran to go back to full compliance. Full compliance – I want to underline that – that Iran has kept ever since the deal was done until a few days ago. At this stage, Iran’s actions are still reversible and do not indicate an unequivocal decision or intention by Iran to revert to its nuclear programme.

At the same time, I want to be very clear: the longer Iran proceeds down this road, the harder it will be, technically, to step back. Our request to Iran is very clear: go back to the full implementation of the deal as you have been doing so far. This is in our interest, this is in Iranians’ interest, this is our collective interest, and this is the same interest that was behind the decision to conclude the Iran nuclear deal. We did that because we knew that kind of deal was in the interest of all of us collectively and, I would say, in the interest of collective security in the world.

On our side, as the European Union, with the Member States, we’ve stepped up our work to try to mitigate the consequences of the United States’ unilateral decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran. At the end of June, we convened in Vienna another meeting of the Joint Commission, that is the body overseeing implementation of the deal that we chair. Together with the E3 – France, Germany and the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Iran – we had a difficult but constructive meeting where we managed remain united concerning the continuous need and commitment for full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides.

In Vienna at this Joint Commission meeting, we also decided that our experts will convene soon to discuss implementation issues, including how to facilitate the export of low-enriched uranium and heavy water out of Iran, something that has become increasingly difficult after the re-imposition of US sanctions.

On that very same day when we met in Vienna, France, Germany and the UK announced that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) with Iran was finally operational, something they had been working on for months, and the European Union and my offices in particular, have been accompanying and supporting this process. So now the instrument is finally operational and it is processing its first transactions. On the same day, seven EU Member States declared that they are willing to join the mechanism, and yesterday at the Foreign Affairs Council more Member States declared they are considering the possibility of joining INSTEX.

We’re also having conversations with non-European Union countries that might join, because preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is not just a European interest. Many others around the world share our same preoccupation, first of all about an arms race in the region, in particular a nuclear arms race in the region.

So preserving the deal is not only in our interest and our responsibility – it is – but it is also a joint responsibility for all around the world. I want to recall once again that the deal is not a bilateral or even a multilateral agreements only: it is a UN Security Council resolution unanimously adopted, so there is a global responsibility to preserve it, and to preserve its full implementation.

On our side, as the European Union, as Europeans, we’re doing everything we can. We never thought that this would be easy – and indeed it is not easy at all – but what we are trying to achieve is so important, and somehow an unprecedented exercise. I am sure that if it weren’t for us, the deal first of all would not exist in the first place, and would probably not be alive as of today.

We’ve always said that any violation of the nuclear deal with Iran could only make our region more unstable, more violent and more exposed to the risk of escalation in tensions. Recent events, I’m afraid, have proven us right. But our objective is not to be proven right. Our objective is to try and make things work for the better and to develop in a positive direction.

I believe no one today should underestimate the risk that an escalation poses to all of us collectively in Europe, in the Middle East and all around the world. So it is in our collective interest to do everything we can to prevent this scenario. So our choice as Europeans – and I know we are united on this – is very clear: we will continue to do everything we can to save the deal.

We will continue to be a voice of reason, and we will continue to do that for our own security, for peace in our troubled region, and because we know that especially if there is a problem, the ‘must’ is to keep the channels of communication and of cooperation open, and to invest in the diplomatic way of solving problems.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová, za skupinu PPE. – Pane předsedající, paní vysoká představitelko, já vám děkuji za Vaši velmi podrobnou zprávu o aktuálním vývoji. Situace v Perském zálivu se vyostřuje a toto místo zůstává neuralgickým bodem světového míru, kudy proudí nejvíce ropy a kapalného plynu na světě.

Schopnost Íránu vojensky zablokovat Hormuzský průliv je vážnou hrozbou pro světovou stabilitu a ekonomiku. EU a její členské státy, které jsou v Radě bezpečnosti OSN, musí udělat všechno pro to, aby Írán neustoupil od dohody o jaderném programu a aby celá situace neeskalovala.

Paní vysoká představitelko, Vy jste o tom hovořila, o tom, co se právě v těchto dnech projednává. EU musí být v tomto jednotná a musíme najít způsob, jak přinutit Írán, aby dohodu dodržoval. I poté, co Spojené státy od dohody ustoupily a znovu zavedly sankce.

Chci vám poděkovat za tuto aktivitu, protože my si nové sankce proti Íránu nepřejeme, ale chceme, aby Írán dodržoval tuto dohodu.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is indeed a major diplomatic achievement that took years of negotiations: a huge accomplishment of the transatlantic alliance, which the new US administration has denied and sought to revoke.

There is nothing strategic in dismantling our achievements, in dismantling the multilateral rules—based system or in calling into question high—value multilateral diplomatic successes. The agreement is key in terms of nuclear non—proliferation and global peace and security. It is in the interest of the entire international community, including the EU, the USA and Iran. Therefore, we have to act: to do more to preserve the deal, and to take all necessary measures to ensure tangible economic benefits, while reminding our Iranian counterparts to respect their commitments fully.

Escalation of tension between the USA and Iran has a highly damaging impact on an already unstable region. For the European Union it is crucial to stand firm and united and to ensure a clear European stance, defending the observance of international law.

 
  
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  Nathalie Loiseau, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, l’Union européenne a joué un rôle majeur dans la conclusion de l’accord de Vienne. Depuis le retrait des États-Unis du JCPoA, la responsabilité de l’Europe est encore plus forte pour préserver cet élément essentiel de l’architecture mondiale de non- prolifération nucléaire.

Aujourd’hui, la situation est alarmante. Les États-Unis ont rétabli des sanctions à la fois unilatérales et extraterritoriales, l’Iran a dépassé la limite qui lui était fixée en matière d’enrichissement et de stockage d’uranium, le golfe Arabo-Persique connaît une phase de tensions préoccupante. Il y a urgence: la non-prolifération est affaiblie, les risques d’un conflit dans le Golfe sont accrus et les intérêts de nos citoyens comme de nos entreprises sont menacés.

Face à cette urgence, quelles mesures concrètes proposez-vous afin de contribuer à enclencher une désescalade? Quelles sont vos propositions pour rendre INSTEX pleinement opérationnel en incitant d’autres États membres à le rejoindre?

 
  
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  Hannah Neumann, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, the Iran nuclear deal was a diplomatic success by a united European Union and it was rare enough, a deal mainly negotiated by women. Ms Mogherini, you were part of that negotiation process. However, four years later, this common achievement is in danger.

It is in danger because an irresponsible US President is jeopardising it. It is in danger because the Iranian regime is again stepping up its uranium enrichment. But it is also in danger because EU foreign policy is not yet strong enough to counterbalance this escalation. The recent events in the Persian Gulf that we are discussing here today have shown how one spark, and just one spark, might be enough to trigger a violent escalation that nobody wants. It is for all of us today, and in the coming weeks, to make sure that this conflict does not escalate further in a region that is already ravaged by war.

In this regard, we as Greens welcome the decision taken yesterday by the Foreign Affairs Council to find solutions to preserve the deal. Yes, the USA and Iran need to talk, but I also want to see the EU supporting the call for a regional conference that was issued by Iraq, for example. This could be a conference at which all regional actors sit at the table and work on a sustainable solution.

But let’s be clear on one thing: this can be done only if the grave human rights abuses that have been committed are also addressed. So we also need to talk about the journalists killed, about the human rights defenders in prison and about the humanitarian aid that is currently not being granted to many people.

Together we are strong, and the European Union is needed today more than ever to protect a rules—based international order. And I want to see us, including the Member States, deliver on this ambition in the coming years.

 
  
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  Herve Juvin, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, nous sommes attachés à la souveraineté des nations, qui n’est rien sans la puissance qui la fait respecter. À cet égard, j’aimerais interroger Mme la Haute représentante sur la puissance qui permettrait à l’Europe de prévenir les actions de déstabilisation régionale de l’Iran ainsi que sur ses multiples ingérences dans les affaires intérieures de la région et des pays du Golfe.

Si nous sommes attachés à la souveraineté des nations, nous le sommes plus encore à notre indépendance et aux intérêts des entreprises européennes. C’est pourquoi je souhaiterais également poursuivre ma question.

Va-t-on réactiver les lois de blocage qui, dans les années 90, avaient effectivement protégé les entreprises européennes contre les conséquences de l’embargo américain sur Cuba?

Va-t-on, de manière encore plus décisive, mettre en place la plateforme de transactions interbancaires et la monnaie d’échange et de réserve mondiale, qui pourrait réunir auprès des nations européennes tous les pays non alignés en fournissant une alternative au règne unilatéral du dollar et permettre d’éviter la tenaille entre un empire chinois conquérant et une nation américaine de plus en plus agressive dans la poursuite de ses intérêt propres?

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, this evening we are discussing a regime that has started seriously to undermine freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz. Earlier we learned that it was particularly vicious to its own people, also playing a negative role in the region and exporting terrorism, including to territories of our countries, to EU territories.

Recently, since 7 July, we know that this regime has started to violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that we used to praise so much: increasing the level of enrichment from 3.67% to an announced 4.5% and aiming at even more. Our actions are inefficient, Ms Mogherini, and we have to be much more decisive.

 
  
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  Emmanuel Maurel, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur le Président, Madame Mogherini, pourquoi ne pas le dire clairement? La crise actuelle dans le golfe Persique est largement imputable à l’incroyable agressivité américaine dans le dossier nucléaire iranien, et nous le savons tous dans ce Parlement.

Il y a évidemment des motivations économiques, cela n’a échappé à personne puisque le renchérissement du cours du baril arrange M. Trump.

Il y a aussi d’évidentes motivations idéologiques. Les néoconservateurs qui sont à Washington font tout pour saboter la paix, ils ont d’ailleurs saboté l’accord de Vienne, et pour maintenir cette région dans l’instabilité. Mais nous, Européens, que faisons-nous, quelles sont les mesures que nous opposons à l’extraterritorialité des sanctions américaines? Il y a quelques timides mesures mais la réalité c’est que les injonctions de Washington sont la règle et que la résistance de l’Europe est l’exception.

Je crois qu’il est temps pour nous, Européens, d’agir en adultes face aux Américains, de reparler avec l’Iran, de refaire marcher la machine économique pour nos entreprises, pour les Européens, et aussi pour l’image de l’Europe dans le monde.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Alto rappresentante, la discussione di oggi è provvidenziale.

Credo siamo tutti d'accordo sul fatto che un intensificarsi del conflitto nella regione vada evitato in ogni modo possibile e voglio pensare che le recenti azioni iraniane possono essere lette come un avvertimento all'Occidente sulle possibili conseguenze nel caso l'accordo sul nucleare tramontasse definitivamente.

Le mosse di Teheran sembrano andare in questo senso, provocazioni, ma nulla di più. Il mio è quindi un invito alla razionalità che deve continuare a prevalere. In queste situazioni un errore di valutazione può far precipitare la situazione. Credo che il regime iraniano sia ancora disposto al dialogo, che sono convinto rimanga l'unica opzione accettabile per tutta la comunità internazionale. E pazienza se, come alcuni analisti spiegano, il tentativo iraniano è quello di creare divisioni tra gli Stati Uniti, troppo spesso inutilmente aggressivi e noi ben più concilianti.

Una grande responsabilità pesa sulle nostre spalle. Ribadire il nostro ruolo di campioni del multilateralismo ed evitare che deflagri un conflitto, magari anche quasi per caso, che azzererebbe quello che ritengo sia stato il più rilevante successo diplomatico dell'Unione europea negli ultimi anni.

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Mr President, Madam High Representative, the last thing we need is another flare-up in a strategic region that is already one of the most turbulent in the world.

I believe you did a great job, High Representative, in helping to put together a deal whose aim was to guarantee that Iran’s nuclear programme remains purely civilian. Similarly, I believe that it has been important and necessary for us to keep the JCPOA alive after the unilateral withdrawal of the US, for until recently the Iranians did, by most accounts, comply with the letter of the agreement.

Regrettably, this may no longer be the case. And also we cannot completely ignore the fact that, even when Iran remained compliant, the economic benefits arising from the agreement largely failed to convince Iran’s leaders to moderate their behaviour or reverse the pattern of fuelling conflicts in neighbouring countries in order to advance their own narrow goals. Therefore, in order to prevent another potentially catastrophic escalation, we must make every effort to keep what remains of the agreement from completely falling apart and at the same time, urge all players to exercise restraint and act responsibly in order to find a non-military solution to the current tensions.

 
  
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  Klemen Grošelj (Renew). – Spoštovani predsedujoči! V okviru današnje razprave o Perzijskem zalivu bi rad poudaril, da gre za krizo, ki lahko zaradi obsega in globine svojih posledic, kot je povečanje napetosti med velikimi silami, destabilizacije energetskih trgov in pa novih begunskih valov vpliva ne samo na regijo, ampak na mednarodni mir in stabilnost ter še posebej na varnost Evropske unije in njenih članic.

Zato ne glede na kompleksnost krize ali pa prav zaradi nje in posledic, ki bi jih nadaljnja destabilizacija razmer v Perzijskem zalivu imela za Evropsko unijo, pričakujem in pozivam Komisijo in še posebej vas, visoko predstavnico za zunanjo in varnostno politiko, gospa Mugherini, k oblikovanju jasnega in trdnega skupnega evropskega stališča, temelječega na mednarodnem pravu in mehanizmih mirnega reševanja sporov, ker nadaljnje stopnjevanje napetosti in nestabilnosti, predvsem pa merjenje moči velikih sil ne bo prineslo potrebne rešitve.

Zato je nujno, da EU s partnerji v mednarodni skupnosti oblikuje in zagovarja celovito diplomatsko pobudo za umiritev razmer in postopno trajno stabilizacijo regije.

 
  
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  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D). – Señor presidente, todos podemos tener reservas sobre el régimen iraní y sus evidentes déficits en derechos humanos, pero no siempre los etiquetados como regímenes gamberros son los que inician situaciones, crisis como la que vivimos.

En esta ocasión, en el origen de esta situación está la decisión de los Estados Unidos de retirarse unilateralmente del Plan de Acción Integral Conjunto. Es un agujero, un agujero más en el edificio de acuerdos multilaterales que ha hecho el mundo más seguro. Mantener el multilateralismo como marco político y el diálogo como principal instrumento son las únicas garantías frente a los retos globales de seguridad.

El acuerdo no es perfecto, pero estaba dando resultados y controlando el carácter pacífico del programa nuclear iraní. El acuerdo no es perfecto —es verdad—, pero es una piedra angular de la diplomacia europea y una piedra angular de la diplomacia de las Naciones Unidas, por su difícil origen —que usted conoció— y por los obvios resultados en su desarrollo.

La Unión Europea debe comprometerse, por tanto, a mantener vivo y operativo el acuerdo y no alinearse con retóricas belicistas, vengan de donde vengan, incluidos tradicionales aliados.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Clare Daly (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, the fact that Europe followed its own course when the US pulled out of the Iranian deal last year was a good thing. The fact that Europe then declared that the US sanctions were null and void was also the right thing to do. US sanctions against Iran are criminal; they are an act of war by other means – just as destructive as guns, and just as lethal as missiles.

What does it say when the International Court of Justice has told the US to end them, but yet they continue. I welcome the EU’s hesitancy to become embroiled in American aggression against Iran – that’s a good thing – but it’s not good enough. We have to do more. To say that Iran should go back to the deal when you know that they’re being forced into this position, because of the hardship being caused by the US imposed sanctions, is not really good enough. You have said, High Representative, that we in Europe are doing everything we can, but are we really? The United States only do what they do because we allow them to do so. We need to condemn the sanctions immediately.

 
  
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  Martin Horwood (Renew). – Mr President, I would like to thank the High Representative for her attendance tonight and for her remarks, and particularly the progress she reports on INSTEX. High Representative, I hope you will strongly defend that instrument, which I think is rewarding peace and restraint on behalf of moderates like President Rouhani, even as Donald Trump is undermining their position with sanctions.

I have two questions. First, underlying this crisis is the ongoing cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is blighting the region and exacerbating violence and conflict from Yemen to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf States and Lebanon. So, can I ask what specifically the European Union is doing to promote dialogue and reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran?

My second question: if the United States and its Saudi allies move to a policy of regime change in Iran, will the European Union firmly reject that policy?

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, Madam Mogherini, you say that Europe really wants the deal to work. We all do. But it’s about time we started speaking straight. We know who is increasing the tensions in the Persian Gulf. It isn’t Iran; the Saudis, with the nice backing of Israel and, of course, the US. Why don’t we call it as it is and stop playing footsie with words? They have a problem with the powerful nature of Iran, with the independence of Iran, and Europe does need to put its arm around Iran and be more welcoming. Iran is not feeling the love from Europe. You have the potential to do more and welcome them more into the international community.

 
  
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  Thierry Mariani (ID). – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Représentante, j’ai eu la chance, pendant des années, d’être député des Français de l’étranger et de couvrir cette zone où je suis allé très souvent.

Ces derniers mois, j’ai vu des entreprises françaises bien implantées, comme Total ou Peugeot, devoir se retirer. J’ai vu des entreprises allemandes et italiennes devant faire la même chose.

Aujourd’hui, tout le monde sait que l’Iran respectait cet accord, et aujourd’hui tout le monde sait aussi que, si l’Iran en sort, c’est d’abord à cause du choix américain, qui en est entièrement responsable, et aussi peut-être parce que l’Iran attendait un geste de l’Europe.

À un moment, nous avons fait des annonces au niveau européen pour un mécanisme de substitution. Malheureusement aujourd’hui, il n’y a rien.

J’ai vu que vous avez réitéré votre volonté, il y a quelques jours, par une déclaration. Ce que j’aimerais, plutôt que des déclarations, c’est que l’on passe à des actes, parce que peut-être que les dernières chances de paix consistent aussi à montrer à l’Iran qu’il y a une possibilité de continuer à exister dans ses relations avec l’Europe, en dehors de ces sanctions. Mais là, cela dépend uniquement de nous et de notre volonté de nous émanciper de notre grand ami américain.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, VPC/HR. – Monsieur le Président, je commence par répondre à certaines questions qui ont été posées par des membres de cette Assemblée sur le mécanisme que nous avons mis en œuvre et sur lequel surtout la France, l’Allemagne et la Grande-Bretagne ont travaillé avec notre soutien, depuis de longs mois, il est vrai, depuis septembre de l’année dernière, ce fameux Instex, un mécanisme qui permet à des entreprises européennes d’avoir un commerce légitime avec l’Iran.

La question est de savoir si et quand il va être prêt, j’y fais référence dans mes remarques d'introduction. Non seulement le mécanisme est prêt mais il est déjà opérationnel. Il traite actuellement les premières transactions, depuis maintenant quelques semaines. Cela va prendre du temps parce qu’il faut prêter une attention très importante à la due diligence mais le mécanisme est en place, il travaille déjà sur les premières transactions qui en sont en cours de traitement.

Anyway, I can repeat it in English so the interpreters will help me with the appropriate French technical language. INSTEX has been operational for a couple of weeks. It has started to proceed with the first transactions so it is already in place.

The other part of the question, that I was surprised to receive, from another colleague from the same group, was whether we intend to activate, in respect of the extraterritorial impact of the US sanctions, the blocking status that we had in place to protect European investments, a few decades ago, vis-à-vis the extraterritorial impact of US sanctions on Cuba. The blocking status has already been reactivated, covering the extraterritorial effect of US sanctions on Iran in this case, for more than a year. I think that was done in the summer of last year, and I can provide you with all the information. It is all public. The previous Parliament debated this several times. The blocking status has been activated to cover European interests in Iran with regard to the extraterritorial effects of the US sanctions for a year now and, yes, INSTEX is already operational and processing the first transactions in these very same weeks.

I hope that is clarifying and reassuring. Again, all this information is publicly available and I have mentioned this several times, not only in the past few weeks but also in the previous months.

Having said that, some of you touched on other aspects that are not related either to the current escalation across the Gulf or to the preservation of the nuclear deal. In particular, I want to stress one point that is particularly important to me, namely our work to promote human rights across the region. In Iran and in other countries in the Gulf, this has constantly been part of our work, bilaterally and regionally.

By the way, we also have measures in place concerning human rights. We have human rights dialogues and we have considerable engagement, in particular, with the protection of human rights activists and some other citizens as well. So we’re following both individual cases and human rights situations across the Gulf in a very active manner – as well as, as some of you mentioned, the recent risks to the freedom and safety of navigation in the Gulf. This is also a top priority for us and we are making that extremely clear.

To answer two specific questions asked by one of the last speakers, we would not support regime change. We normally don’t support regime change anywhere in the world and it is not the kind of policy the EU promotes or supports. This is the case here too. We are respectful of the political dynamics inside countries. The angle from which we see the situation – not only in Iran, but also across the Gulf – is that of the promotion of channels of communication.

This brings me to the first part of the Honourable Member’s question, which was about what we can do, or what we are doing, to promote channels of cooperation, or communication at least, in particular between Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also more generally across the region. We have been working very actively in recent years, inter alia, to try and help our friends in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to overcome their own divergences and splits. What we’re doing in specific terms is, on the one hand, keeping our own channels of cooperation open with all sides. Secondly, we’re trying to support those forces in the region – one of which is Kuwait – that are trying to build bridges, trying to open channels for communication and trying, in particular in the case of the GCC countries, to underline the fact that there is a win—win scenario: regional cooperation is beneficial for all.

In this respect, I announced during my visit to Baghdad on Saturday that the European Union would be more than ready to support in all possible ways the initiative that the President of Iraq is considering, of convening a regional conference of the neighbours of Iraq. The aim would be to try to identify a common objective that unites all the neighbours of Iraq, which is protecting the country itself from this escalation in the region and also preserving the achievements that Iraq has managed to build, including with the support of the international community, in terms, for instance of the territorial defeat of Daesh and the improvement of the situation in the country.

We are supporting all possible initiatives from within the region and, obviously, from an international perspective, to highlight that there is a common interest – a shared interest – across the region. The European experience is clear in this respect. You can disagree, you can have a past of being enemies, or even at war, and you can still not define one another as friends, but if you share the same geographical space – and geography is something you cannot change – you have an interest in identifying the framework within which your disagreements can be handled in a peaceful and contained manner. That is the indication we are giving. In Europe we have experience of how to handle disagreements within a certain regional framework that may even be tense. We can offer our support and our experience in how to build a security framework architecture that is increasingly important as tensions arise.

I hope this answers your questions and I hope we can continue to count on your support because what is important is not only the practical steps we can take but also the political messages that we can send to the region. I believe that the voice of this Parliament will be important in that respect.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

 
Viimane päevakajastamine: 12. september 2019Õigusalane teave