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Procedure : 2015/2274(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0286/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0286/2016

Debates :

PV 24/10/2016 - 15
CRE 24/10/2016 - 15

Votes :

PV 25/10/2016 - 7.2
CRE 25/10/2016 - 7.2

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0402

Debates
Monday, 24 October 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

15. EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Puhemies. – Esityslistalla on seuraavana Richard Howittin ulkoasiainvaliokunnan puolesta laatima mietintö EU:n Iranin-strategiasta ydinsopimuksen jälkeen (2015/2274(INI) (A7-0286/2016).

 
  
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  Richard Howitt, rapporteur. – Madam President, the Iran Nuclear Agreement was a big achievement for European and international diplomacy. It is an important signal that nuclear non-proliferation is possible in our world. The EU strategy which followed, fully supported by my report, is about Europe fully upholding our obligations under that agreement.

To do so, I support the opening of an EU delegation in Tehran and cooperation on maritime security in the Persian Gulf as a concrete step towards a new regional security structure for the whole region; setting the aim for a partnership and cooperation agreement for a bilateral investment treaty and of Iran joining the World Trade Organisation. Supporting the major deal for Airbus and efforts for banks themselves to support the lifting of sanctions; to restore our own interparliamentary dialogue with the Majlis.

Colleagues, this is a balanced and inclusive report incorporating 22 compromise paragraphs from no less than 139 amendments from different Members of this Parliament. I thank the shadows, and Mr Brok in particular, for their cooperation.

On human rights: the human rights NGO Reprieve called the language of my report ‘excellent’. Human Rights Watch said: it is ‘good language’. The words ‘human rights’ actually appears 34 times in my report. By focusing on ending the death penalty for children and for all drug offenses I am supporting efforts which are already under way in Iranian society itself and that I dearly hope will actually be agreed.

Those who say that my report ‘is not human rights enough’ simply impugn my own integrity and contradict the human rights organisations themselves. They knowingly imperil the leverage that we do have with Iran and make the improvements in human rights, which they say you want, less, not more, likely. They should examine your own conscience before you repeat that claim.

My report clearly called for non-interference in other countries and an end to support for armed groups. It specifically supports respect for peace and security for Israel and for Palestinians. It suggests that Europe can play a greater role in de-escalating tension between Tehran and Riyadh, and that this is the essential part of bringing to an end the terrible conflicts which afflict Iran’s neighbours. There are those in this Chamber who want greater one-sided criticism of Iran’s regional role. They say they are against proxy wars but you yourselves are acting as proxies; don’t do it.

For those that are using this debate to wage these arguments, but who do so actually seeking to oppose the nuclear agreement: be honest in saying so. I will be honest with you about the consequences of the agreement’s collapse: a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, heightened security fears, undermining reformists and shifting power to hardliners here and there, a return to sanctions in which ordinary innocent people in Iran are impoverished and lose hope, a potentially fatal attack on diplomatic attempts to end suffering, death and destruction in the bloody civil wars in Syria and in Yemen. Indeed, an attack on the very principle that diplomacy and negotiated agreement itself could be successful in our troubled world.

My report stands for peace, an active diplomatic role for Europe, and a belief that by identifying common interest where it exists, that it is possible to build on it. I ask for your support.

 
  
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  Miguel Arias Cañete, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I am honoured to be here today and thank you for the opportunity to discuss Iran this evening. This is a timely debate falling almost precisely on the first anniversary of the adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which took place on 18 October 2015. It is important to recall that day, because it was one of the milestones of the nuclear agreement and an important step in restoring trust with Iran. The implementation day which occurred a few days later, after the IAEA confirmed Iran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments, triggered the lifting of sanctions and effectively opened up the possibility to begin a new chapter in our bilateral relations.

In this context, I thank Mr Richard Howitt for his work on the report on the EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement, which I see as a valuable contribution in this latest stage of the European Union’s relations with Iran.

This Parliament has shown a strong interest and active support throughout the negotiations of the nuclear deal with Iran. Today, one year after the JCPOA was adopted, I also welcome the broad support you are giving to our policy of balance and incremental engagement with Iran. We believe that this approach reflects the new state of European Union-Iran relations after the nuclear deal, as the title of Parliament’s report that will be voted on tomorrow aptly points out.

The European Union has played a crucial role in the context of the JCPOA. We were perceived by all sides as an honest broker throughout the whole of the negotiations, and the High Representative and her representatives were entrusted with the role of coordinator of the Joint Commission which today oversees the implementation of the agreement. This is of value in itself, and we need to fulfil this role effectively, because our interests are also at stake, in particular the sustainability of the JCPOA.

Sustainability is crucial for the deal to hold, but sustainability can only be ensured if all sides properly implement the JCPOA and if the Iranian people, who strongly backed the deal, can feel its economic benefits and reconnect with the international community. The good news is that the implementation is on track. Iran has been delivering on its nuclear commitments and, since implementation day, the IAEA has issued three positive reports confirming this. But as I said, sustainability requires firm and longstanding adherence throughout the lifetime of the agreement.

The European Union has delivered on all its commitments. We have lifted the agreed economic and financial nuclear-related sanctions. We have gone beyond that and conducted an extensive outreach to our economic operators, informing them about and clarifying the new regulatory framework.

The initial reluctance by the financial and banking sector and wider business community to re—engage is a natural phenomenon, given that companies need to feel comfortable and confident to come back and invest in Iran again. The remaining United States primary sanctions – and we had a debate on this in July – and the poor business environment in Iran, are additional factors for hesitation. Iran also needs to do its part in terms of increasing transparency in its financial system and improving its efforts as regards anti-money laundering and counter—financing of terrorism framework and institutions.

Iran’s commitment to take the necessary measures to comply with the Action Plan or the Financial Action Task Force is a step in the right direction. The European Union stands ready to share expertise with the Iranian authorities on this matter.

The nuclear deal has opened the door for renewed bilateral European Union-Iran cooperation. In fact we are already using the opportunities and have started working together in some areas of mutual interest. Commissioner Stylianides is in Iran, as we speak, to address the issue of Afghan refugees and access to humanitarian relief in the countries of the region affected by conflict.

Commissioner Bieńkowska was in Tehran last week with European Union business representatives and launched a European Union-Iran industrial dialogue. Just a few weeks ago, we received a high-level visit from Iran on the environment, and we agreed to launch cooperation on environmental protection. I know these are important issues for some of you.

On trade-related issues, our commercial exchanges went up by 42%, compared with the same period last year. And we have also been supportive of Iran’s accession to the WTO, because we see a clear advantage in having Iran playing along with internationally-agreed rules.

The European Union has established cooperation also in other areas such as energy and nuclear safety, but also in education, culture and research. Indeed, our engagement allows us to foster people-to-people contacts. The young people of Iran are Iran’s wealth, and investing in them means investing in the future of the country. We have therefore increased exchanges of students through Erasmus+ and of scientists and researchers in Horizon 2020.

Let me stress again that, while we proceed with this level of engagement, we do not lose sight of the issues where we do not see eye to eye. On the contrary, engagement in areas of mutual interest allows us to open channels of communication to address areas where we have differences. Human rights remain an obvious area of concern. The high number of executions and the restrictions to civil freedoms are worrying, and regular public statements are released in this respect. This is why when we negotiated a joint statement with Iran on the future of our relations, adopted last April during the visit of the High Representative to Iran, we said very clearly that human rights have to be an integral part of it, and this is materialising.

A dedicated delegation from the Iranian judiciary system will come to Brussels in early November, in the framework of the political dialogue, to hold exploratory talks on human rights. This will happen for the first time in more than 10 years. We also have differences with Iran on some regional issues where Iran’s behaviour has not changed and remains problematic. We have been clear in calling for tangible steps that can lead to more constructive regional relations, in particular in the case of Syria.

High Representative Mogherini has been in regular touch with Foreign Minister Zarif on the European Union’s humanitarian initiative and with a view to laying the ground for the resumption of an inclusive and Syrian-led political process under the auspices of the United Nations.

At the same time, we need to be aware of the domestic and political scene in Iran. The situation remains polarised, and a return to a period of confrontation with the international community is still favoured by some forces. Parliament’s report on the European Union strategy towards Iran after the nuclear deal also needs to be seen in this light. It should be a contribution to our renewed balanced engagement.

I should not end without mentioning the important role that parliamentary contacts can play in fostering closer relations and conveying a message on these different issues. We now have a new Majlis in Iran after the February parliamentary elections. Engagement with parliamentarians is an important complement to the official diplomatic channels. When the High Representative visited Iran in April with a group of Commissioners, she framed our future relation as the ‘Four Cs’ dialogue: comprehensive in scope; cooperative where there is mutual interest; critical when we disagree, but constructive in nature. I am glad that the current text of the European Parliament resolution is endorsing this approach. I can only reiterate our willingness to continue working closely with you towards this goal in respect of the different mandate and functions of the institution.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on International Trade. – Madam President, together with shadow rapporteurs from the Committee on International Trade – and I would like to thank them – we focused on the trade and investment aspects of EU-Iran relations one year after the important JCPOA, otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, which of course must be implemented. Since then, several delegations travelled to Iran to explore the potential, which in theory is huge. But both the Iranian people and EU companies learned that doing business, in practice, in Iran is not only a matter of lifting sanctions, and it is not as easy as it seems. The high levels of corruption, the grey economy, as well as terror financing but also the lack of a truly private sector, with up to 70% state-controlled, make it difficult to do business, and trade and investment must of course be done according to the law and benefit the population, which has suffered enough and continues to suffer. The human capital is Iran’s most valuable asset, so imagine what is possible when development goes hand in hand with human rights and fundamental freedoms, when labour rights are improved – including for women – and when environmental protection is upgraded. We must bring Iran under the rules-based system according to the Financial Action Task Force against money laundering and where possible explore the WTO path.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Herzlichen Dank für die Möglichkeit, für meine Fraktion einige Worte zu sagen.

Der Hauptgrund für diese Vereinbarung ist, keine weiteren Atomwaffenstaaten zu haben. Ich glaube, das ist gelungen, und gerade die Europäische Union hat mit Federica Mogherini und Helga Schmid einen großen Anteil daran, dass dies geleistet worden ist. Die gesamte Weltgemeinschaft möchte diese Vereinbarung haben. Der Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen hat das einstimmig unterstützt. Wir sollten uns in dieser Frage in die Weltgemeinschaft eingliedern, damit der Nichtverbreitungspakt wirklich Glaubwürdigkeit hat.

Wenn der Iran Atomwaffen bekommt, wird es kein Halten mehr geben. Das ist, glaube ich, unsere zuvörderste Verantwortung. Im Übrigen ist dieser Vertrag kündbar, wenn der Iran sich nicht an die Vorschriften hält, die Sanktionen können wieder eingeführt werden. Das ist alles im Vertrag geregelt, sodass wir auch da keine Sorge zu haben brauchen. Natürlich ist es wichtig, dass der Iran im Laufe der Zeit auch bestimmte Bedingungen erfüllt.

Deswegen bin ich Herrn Howitt – für den das offensichtlich der letzte Bericht ist hier in diesem Haus, weil er das Haus verlässt. Ich bedaure, dass du deine Entscheidung so getroffen hast. Ich hätte gern mit dir weiter zusammengearbeitet. – dankbar, dass in diesen Bericht, sicherlich nach langen Debatten zwischen den Fraktionen, inzwischen die Fragen der Menschenrechte, die Fragen der Nichthinnehmbarkeit der Todesstrafe, die Fragen der Verhaftungen, die aus politischen und sonstigen Gründen stattfinden, die Benachteiligung religiöser Minderheiten eingeflossen sind. Es ist auch deutlich gemacht worden, dass wir den Iran und Saudi-Arabien auffordern, mit ihrem Stellvertreterkrieg aufzuhören und keine terroristische Organisationen zu fördern – die Hisbollah ist ausdrücklich genannt worden – und auch die Finanzkreisläufe in diesem Bereich entsprechend zu stoppen.

Ich finde es wichtig, dass in dieser Frage auch klargestellt ist, dass die Sicherheit Israels für uns eine wesentliche Frage ist. Das kann man sicherlich auch noch stärken. Jedenfalls ist dies ein wichtiger Punkt, der deutlich macht, dass wir nicht unsere Werte aufgeben.

Wir wollen keine Atomwaffen. Deswegen ist der Deal wichtig. Wir wollen die ökonomischen Chancen dieser Vereinbarung nutzen, daran soll gearbeitet werden. Da gibt es noch viele Nachteile, die Frau Schaake benannt hat. Wir sollten die Frage unseres Kampfes gegen Terror, für Menschenrechte, gegen Todesstrafe, für religiöse Minderheiten jetzt zum Ausdruck bringen. Das wird mit diesem Bericht getan, und deswegen wird meine Fraktion diesen Bericht unterstützen.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, a year ago I was very glad to see a breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear deal. The EU played an important role in this success. I trust the deal can be beneficial for all parties involved. This is significant progress for the security, stability and development of the entire region, but it still remains extremely important for it to be implemented thoroughly and in good faith by all partners as soon as possible. We should not forget that this deal goes beyond its technical details. It has already been celebrated by the Iranian people, who consider that this could represent a step forward in improving their living standards. It is essential for both sides to deliver on that. Only a successful implementation will allow us to show the benefits of multilateral diplomacy over the policy of obstructionism and confrontation.

One of our main worries is the fact that, in spite of the partial lifting of sanctions, EU companies are still facing great difficulty in accessing the Iranian market. This is mostly due to the fact that many American financial sanctions are still in place and have an extraterritorial impact. As far as I am aware of them, I share some of the concerns of my colleagues towards Iran, notably the ones linked to the use of ballistic missiles and human rights abuses and violations, including the use of the death penalty in Iran.

It is important to use all channels, in cooperation with the United States, to find and address at least a temporary solution to the difficulties faced by our companies. It is important to engage Iran in order to work together towards improving the environment for human rights and equally to win more regional stability and prosperity. Having said this, I will conclude with an important call on Iran to stop its interference in other countries in the region and to refrain from supporting armed groups, in particular its support for the Syrian regime, Hamas, al-Nusra and Hezbollah, and to play a more positive and constructive role in bringing back peace to the Middle East.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, reaching an agreement with Iran last summer regarding its nuclear ambitions was a major diplomatic success for the European Union and US foreign—policy interests. The combined sanctions regime proved very effective in putting pressure on the economy and resulted in bringing the Tehran regime, and its electorate, to the conclusion that the country needed to reform and a government that was willing to be able to engage with the West and negotiate a deal.

The Iranian Government is not one that we in Europe share common values with. I too condemn its atrocious human rights abuses, including internationally banned juvenile executions, its sectarian politics, its development of a ballistic missile system, its interventionist regional policies in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Lebanon that are often counterproductive. These are differences that we should and will continue to voice our disapproval of and to argue that the peoples of Iran deserve and are capable of better.

Such concerns, however, should not dictate a policy of total disengagement. The negotiations were a final attempt to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and in turn hastening an inevitable nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf region, without the use of force.

Many have argued that a military solution was, and remains, the one and only solution in the long term. The military experts have made it clear that such a policy would be hugely difficult to achieve without paying a huge personal price. This is nothing to say of the subsequent fallout which, I have no doubt, would be very damaging politically in an already volatile region.

This deal is only welcomed as a pragmatic one and its rejection would play right into the hands of regime hardliners. It does not mean that we have reached the end of the road. Close scrutiny that the terms are being adhered to and the will to reimpose sanctions at the slightest of violations are of utmost importance. It is unknown where this deal will take us over the next decade but I personally remain hopeful that it can build trust and allow time for a new political landscape to develop from that ancient Persian culture and to emerge from that.

I too would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to Richard Howitt. We come from very different political families, we have disagreed on many things, Richard, over many years, but I too would like to wish you luck in the next chapter of your life.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, it has been over a year since the nuclear deal was concluded, but of course it is better late than never to have the European Parliament’s opinion as well.

Our Group welcomes the successful lead by the High Representative/Vice President and her team – consisting mostly of females – and the success of EU common diplomacy and international cooperation at times when this is more necessary but most rare. I have shared my thoughts on trade and investment and the possibilities offered when the deal is implemented. So now let us focus with equal resolve on the many remaining problems in our relationship: human rights and fundamental freedoms, from the high levels of executions – even of minors – to the torture in Iran’s notorious prisons. Witness the lack of a fair trial for suspects and the general absence of equal rights for women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGTBIs – and the list goes on, extending to the lack of free expression for journalists, academics, artists, people in general and politicians with critical views. Instead of making the lives of Iranian people better, the regime spends billions on supporting the Assad regime in its cowardice, murder and bombing of innocent people.

Focusing on our shared objective of fighting Daesh cannot hide the real differences between us. The EU lists the military wing of Hezbollah as a terror group; Iran supports it.

President, excuse me, it’s my understanding that I have 2.5 minutes. Am I wrong?

Thank you, President.

The EU lists the military wing of Hezbollah as a terror group. Iran supports it. The emphasis on these key topics was lacking in the report, and we found it important to strongly and unequivocally condemn human rights violations and the damaging role that the Islamic Republic plays in the region.

Now this is not, Mr Howitt, an attack on the nuclear deal, its implementation or you personally. It is merely a matter of differences of opinion and priorities, which I think is entirely normal in a democracy.

My Group calls on Iran to be a part of the solution to the war in Syria and – as we are also asking of Saudi Arabia – to halt interference in the affairs of neighbouring partners, recognise Israel and stop denying the Holocaust. We should work together where possible on the basis of clear benchmarks, and we need an EU delegation on the ground.

Our Group sees opportunity to cooperate on environmental protection, on which what little civil society remains in Iran is bravely pushing for more action. We believe that people-to-people contact through exchanges is key, but people must be able to return safely to Iran when they have dual nationality. People-to-people connections also take place online. Therefore, the emergence of a free and open Internet in Iran, one that is not nationally and centrally monitored and censored, is key for young people likewise to come out of isolation.

I want to stress that it is time for a real step out of the dark, out of isolation, and that includes free and fair elections. Our Group seeks to balance this report and hopes that our key amendments will be adopted: otherwise, unfortunately, we will not be able to support this resolution.

 
  
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  Σοφία Σακοράφα, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. –Κυρία πρόεδρε, κύριοι συνάδελφοι, η συμφωνία του περασμένου έτους και η άρση των κυρώσεων για το πυρηνικό πρόγραμμα έβγαλαν το Ιράν από την απομόνωση που του είχε επιβάλει η Δύση. Περιμένουμε από το Ιράν να αξιοποιήσει εποικοδομητικά τον σημαντικό ρόλο που διαδραματίζει, όχι μόνο στη Μέση Ανατολή αλλά παγκόσμια, συνεισφέροντας στην ειρήνη, τη σταθερότητα και την ανάπτυξη. Από αυτήν την άποψη, η συμμετοχή του Ιράν στην επίλυση των συγκρούσεων και των πολιτικών κρίσεων είναι απαραίτητη και κρίνεται συνεχώς.

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση οφείλει να αναπτύξει με το Ιράν έναν ανοιχτό, ειλικρινή, φιλόδοξο, πολυεπίπεδο, διατομεακό διάλογο σε κλίμα οικοδόμησης αμοιβαίας εμπιστοσύνης και σεβασμού, στη βάση της αξιολόγησης των κοινών συμφερόντων αλλά και των διαφορών, κατά τρόπο που να ωφελεί τόσο τον ιρανικό λαό όσο και τους λαούς της Ευρώπης. Σε αυτόν τον διάλογο έχουμε χρέος ως ευρωβουλευτές να συνεισφέρουμε ενεργά, και όχι μόνο στο στενό κοινοβουλευτικό πλαίσιο. Έχουμε χρέος να θέσουμε στον πυρήνα του διαλόγου και της συνεργασίας μας ζητήματα που αφορούν στην ασφάλεια και στην ευημερία των λαών μας, να εμβαθύνουμε σε έναν ειλικρινή και παραγωγικό διάλογο για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, να στηρίξουμε τις προσπάθειες για μεγαλύτερο έλεγχο στη διακίνηση όπλων, νόμιμη και μη, ώστε να μπει ένα τέλος στην αυξανόμενη στρατιωτικοποίηση της περιοχής. Έχουμε χρέος να διευρύνουμε τη συνεργασία μας σε όλους τους τομείς: του πολιτισμού, της εκπαίδευσης, του εμπορίου, της ενέργειας, της περιβαλλοντικής αειφορίας. Μια πολυεπίπεδη συνεργασία η οποία θα πρέπει να βασίζεται στον αμοιβαίο σεβασμό των διεθνών προτύπων και των αρχών.

Τέλος, κύριοι συνάδελφοι, οφείλουμε να ασκήσουμε πίεση στους εταίρους μας, τις ΗΠΑ, ώστε να αρθούν οι μονομερείς πρωτογενείς κυρώσεις εναντίον του ιρανικού λαού. Όχι μόνο επειδή στραγγαλίζουν τις ευρωπαϊκές επιχειρήσεις που θέλουν να επενδύσουν στο Ιράν, αλλά πρώτα και κύρια για τον αρνητικό αντίκτυπο που έχουν στα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και ιδιαίτερα στο δικαίωμα του ιρανικού λαού στη διατροφή, στην υγεία και στην ανάπτυξη.

Προσωπικά, θεωρώ ότι η σημερινή έκθεση είναι ισορροπημένη και απαντά στις περισσότερες από τις προκλήσεις για την παραπέρα ανάπτυξη των σχέσεών μας με το Ιράν, και σε αυτό φυσικά συνέβαλε πολύ θετικά ο κύριος Howitt.

 
  
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  Klaus Buchner, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Dieser Bericht ist ein Ausdruck des Willens der Europäischen Union, mit der Islamischen Republik Iran zusammenzuarbeiten.

Der Bericht ist eine Kehrtwende in der Politik: weg von einer Politik der Isolation, hin zu einer Politik des Dialogs und der Annäherung. Das Nuklearabkommen ist ein Hoffnungsschimmer für viele Iranerinnen und Iraner, die sehnsüchtig auf eine Öffnung ihres Landes warten und vor allem auf eine Verbesserung ihrer gesellschaftlichen, sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Situation.

Ich darf einfach daran erinnern, dass es im Iran eine hohe Arbeitslosigkeit gibt und dass Teile der Bevölkerung in einer wirtschaftlich nicht sehr guten Situation leben. Da wird mir oft entgegengehalten, dass die Verbesserung dieser Dinge die alleinige Verantwortung der jeweiligen Regierung ist. Ich habe diese Meinung nicht, denn aus unserer eigenen Geschichte wissen wir, dass politischer Dialog und die daraus resultierende praktische und wirtschaftliche Kooperation sehr viel bessere Ergebnisse liefern kann als eine Politik der Isolation.

Die iranische Regierung hat mit dem Abschluss und mit der Einhaltung dieses Abkommens gezeigt, dass sie willens ist, mit uns zusammenzuarbeiten. Wie es sich in einem Gespräch mit dem Vize-Außenminister ergeben hat, hat es den Iran große Überwindung gekostet, diejenigen Teile des Nuklearvertrags zu akzeptieren, die sich eben nicht auf die kriegerische Nutzung der Kernenergie beziehen, sondern auf die kommerzielle Nutzung. Auch hier hat die iranische Regierung nachgegeben und ist unseren Forderungen nachgekommen.

Jetzt sind wir an der Reihe. Wir müssen das anerkennen und fördern, was sich im Iran an positiver, an etwas liberalerer Entwicklung zeigt. Trotzdem ist es klar, dass wir weit davon entfernt sind, im Iran selbst ideale Zustände zu haben. Deswegen hat der Bericht eine ganze Reihe von Forderungen, die sehr deutlich, sehr klar sind. Ich möchte nur einige herausholen, die mir persönlich besonders wichtig sind.

Wir fordern die möglichst sofortige Freilassung aller politischen Gefangenen, insbesondere natürlich auch derjenigen, die doppelte Staatsbürgerschaft haben. Wir fordern die Achtung der Menschenrechte und Grundfreiheiten und vor allem der internationalen Arbeits-, Sozial- und Umweltnormen. Das ist etwas, dass gerade die Sozialnormen oft nicht eingehalten sind, was stark betont werden muss. Wir fordern die iranische Justiz auf, das Recht auf faire und ordnungsgemäße Verfahren sicherzustellen. Wir fordern, dass der Umweltschutz und die Förderung einer ökologisch nachhaltigen Entwicklung, möglichst auch in europäischer Zusammenarbeit, vorangetrieben werden.

In diesem Zusammenhang möchte ich auf die Umweltkatastrophe um den Urmiasee herum aufmerksam machen, eine Katastrophe, die sich weit über die Grenzen des Iran hinaus auswirkt. Dann –es ist ja schon öfter erwähnt worden – fordern wir den Iran auf, ein Moratorium für die Todesstrafe einzuführen. Der Iran ist, gemessen an seiner Bevölkerungszahl, weltweit das Land mit der höchsten Rate von Hinrichtungen.

Der Bericht weist meiner Meinung nach in die richtige Richtung, kann eine Menge an Verbesserungen erwirken, und deswegen hoffe ich, dass er morgen mit großer Mehrheit angenommen wird.

 
  
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  James Carver, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, the Iranian nuclear agreement represented possibly one of the biggest shifts in Western—Middle Eastern relations for decades. Whilst the full repercussions of the nuclear agreement, as well as whether all sides can stick to it, remain to be seen, what is beyond doubt is that the agreement gives us further grounds to continue dialogue and continue building up mutual trust and respect.

If this is to prove fruitful, it must be done through existing international institutions and multilateral and bilateral dialogue. In this report, however, I must especially question its aim of an EU strategy. Once again the EU is showing its immaturity when it comes to diplomacy. I believe that the too much, too quickly approach taken in this report may actually prove to be counterproductive in the long term. As we all know, trust can take decades to build but be broken far more quickly.

I believe that the comments in this report on Syria are pointless. Middle Eastern diplomacy is – to make an obvious understatement – complex, with the multifaceted interests of major players globally and regionally. All parties represent legitimate national concerns, and it is only by coming to a reasonable accommodation that a lasting peace can be found. In short, I would suggest that we build slowly on the success of the dialogue before the nuclear deal. Let us agree where we can agree and agree to discuss differences where we can.

However, whilst my own concerns over the Iranian stance towards Israel remain relevant and topical in this context, let us not pressure Iran with an all-encompassing agreement that we know would be doomed to failure. For once let us stop posturing and see if we can actually bring some stability to the region. I would also like to pay tribute to Richard. Richard, you and I disagree on pretty much everything, but I think that the Foreign Affairs Committee will be a different place without you, certainly from a British viewpoint. I wish you all the very best for your future outside Parliament.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, pour une fois, nous devons constater qu'un parlementaire européen a fait un rapport qui essaie d'approcher le réel. C'est suffisamment rare pour être souligné. Il faut dire que, l'Amérique ayant exceptionnellement revisité sa politique, il ne nous restait qu'à suivre – c'est encore ce que nous faisons de mieux – les États-Unis, telle une Europe dépendante obéissant au maître.

Toutefois, il semble que cet apaisement ne soit pas du goût de tout le monde. Il se trouve plusieurs de mes collègues pour se plaindre et tenter de nuire malgré tout à l'Iran et aux relations que nos États doivent entretenir avec ce grand pays. Les va-t-en-guerre sont là. Plus ils sont issus, d'ailleurs, de petites puissances, plus ils sont souvent arrogants.

On nous parle des capacités militaires iraniennes qui nous inquiètent. Les armées de mercenaires que l'Arabie saoudite envoie au Yémen ne semblent pas, en revanche, nous inquiéter. Deux poids, deux mesures. On nous parle de la dureté de l'Iran à l'égard du trafic de drogue qui nous émeut, mais savons-nous qu'il y a entre 1,2 et 3 millions de toxicomanes en Iran sur une population qui n'atteint pas les 80 millions d'habitants? Savons-nous que l'Iran a perdu près de 4 000 douaniers dans sa guerre contre la drogue? Enfin, nous rappelons-nous que l'Iran est un État souverain qui peut décider de son système pénal? Deux poids, deux mesures également si on regarde la Turquie.

Enfin, on nous parle des droits de l'homme comme une incantation mais s'indigne-t-on autant en face du Qatar et de l'Arabie saoudite?

L'Iran est un partenaire incontournable. En remettant en cause les accords internationaux d'État à État, nous risquons de menacer, une fois de plus, la stabilité régionale et internationale. Soutenons ce rapport! C'est très important, car il va dans le bon sens. L'Iran apportera sa contribution à la stabilité régionale et Israël doit être rassuré par un soutien total du Parlement et de nos États.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος ( NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, δεν υπάρχει αμφιβολία ότι η συμφωνία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως με το Ιράν σχετικά με το πυρηνικό πρόγραμμα της χώρας είναι μία σημαντική επιτυχία της εξωτερικής πολιτικής της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως και απελευθέρωσε το πεδίο της συνεργασίας των δύο πλευρών σε διαφόρους τομείς. Το Ιράν είναι η δεύτερη οικονομική δύναμη στον χώρο της Μέσης Ανατολής και σημαντικός παράγοντας στο εμπόριο της ενεργείας, διότι είναι η δεύτερη χώρα στον κόσμο σε αποθέματα φυσικών αερίων και η τετάρτη σε πετρέλαιο. Κατά συνέπεια η συνεργασία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως με το Ιράν σε διαφόρους τομείς, όπως στο εμπόριο, στη βιομηχανία, στην ενέργεια είναι προς το συμφέρον των χωρών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως, ούτως ώστε να μην εξαρτώνται από έναν προμηθευτή στον τομέα της ενεργείας.

Από πολιτικής απόψεως η συμφωνία αυτή είναι σημαντική και επετεύχθη, διότι, επιτέλους, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αποφάσισε να διαφοροποιηθεί στην εξωτερική πολιτική από εκείνη των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών. Έτσι, μετά την πυρηνική συμφωνία, ήρε τις κυρώσεις κατά του Ιράν, κάτι το οποίο δεν έκαναν οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, με αποτέλεσμα, σε συνδυασμό και με το ότι οι συναλλαγές με το Ιράν πραγματοποιούνται σε δολάρια, να υπάρχει πρόβλημα στις συναλλαγές της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως με το Ιράν που πρέπει να γίνονται σε ευρώ. Τέλος το Ιράν μπορεί να αποτελέσει σημαντικό παράγοντα σταθεροποίησεως στον χώρο της Μέσης Ανατολής, αλλά παράλληλα οφείλει να βελτιώσει και τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και να καταργήσει τη θανατική ποινή στους νέους κάτω των δεκαοκτώ ετών και κυρίως στα παιδιά.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, la première version du texte du rapport de Richard Howitt avait l'air d'avoir été rédigée pour faire plaisir à Téhéran et j'avais critiqué ce penchant pro-chiite qu’avait pris le rapporteur socialiste. De même, nous étions nombreux à penser que le rapport n'était pas suffisamment incisif, en particulier sur la question des droits de l'homme.

Le texte issu de la commission des affaires étrangères que nous avons devant nous est plus équilibré et je tiens à remercier notre rapporteur du groupe PPE, Elmar Brok, pour ses efforts de recadrage du rapport.

Je suis particulièrement heureux de constater qu'un certain nombre de mes amendements ont été pris en compte, notamment ceux qui visaient à donner plus de tranchant à des questions comme la prise en compte des lignes directrices de l'Union européenne sur les droits de l'homme dans ses relations avec l'Iran ou encore la peine de mort. La peine de mort était considérée dans la première version de ce rapport comme une simple question de différence entre nous et l’Iran. Or, on le sait, c'est une question de principe fondamental pour l'Union.

Le rapport a été amélioré, mais j’aurais aimé y voir une condamnation très forte des appels répétés de l'Iran à la destruction d'Israël, une condamnation claire de son déni de l'holocauste, une condamnation claire du soutien de Téhéran au régime de Bachar Al-Assad ainsi que la dimension nécessaire des critères sur les droits de l'homme qui semblent pour l'instant tabou pour Richard Howitt.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, o acordo nuclear com o Irão é decisivo, todos o esperamos,  para a segurança e não proliferação a nível regional e global, resultado de negociações históricas em que as diplomacias europeia e americana se empenharam.

Abriu-se assim uma nova página nas relações União Europeia-Irão que não pode secundarizar a necessidade de diálogo numa área em que europeus e autoridades iranianas mantêm substanciais divergências, no respeito pelos direitos humanos, incluindo os direitos das mulheres, no uso e abuso da pena de morte e outros tratamentos degradantes.

Esse diálogo não é inútil, tem de ser franco, vigoroso, criativo: não cai em saco roto junto de um governo que está pressionado internamente por uma sociedade jovem, educada e desejosa de reintegração na comunidade internacional.

Oportunidades económicas e de comércio são potenciadoras também de maior intercâmbio entre os povos europeu e iraniano. O levantamento das sanções contra o Irão abre o mercado iraniano a empresas e investimento europeus. Porém, é preciso ainda que o Irão se comprometa e invista em cumprir as recomendações do Grupo de Ação Financeira Internacional para criar um ambiente económico transparente e responsável.

Mas sejamos claros: restringir o relacionamento euro-iraniano a objetivos económicos e comerciais é falhar estrategicamente. O Irão é potência regional que deve ser encorajada a desempenhar um papel na resolução de conflitos e não a agravá-los. O Irão pode ajudar a pôr fim à guerra na vizinha Síria, mas hoje combate ao lado da Rússia, para preservar o tirano Assad, à custa do massacrado povo sírio.

A União Europeia devia utilizar um novo relacionamento com o Irão e com outros atores regionais no sentido de dissuadir o confronto sectário Sunni-Shiita sobretudo alimentado pela Arábia Saudita, o Qatar e a Turquia de Erdogan.

Uma solução que dê paz e futuro aos sírios e a todos os povos na região é a única forma de a Europa e o Irão protegerem a sua própria segurança.

 
  
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  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Na tle takich dokumentów jak raport Ban Ki-moona przedstawiony we wrześniu Zgromadzeniu Ogólnemu, rezolucja Kongresu Stanów Zjednoczonych czy liczne raporty think tanków, sprawozdanie, które Richard Howitt przedstawia Parlamentowi Europejskiemu, wydaje się niedostatecznie zrównoważone. Jako Polka szanuję i cenię Irańczyków, moje uwagi odnoszą się do reżimu Republiki Iranu. W 1988 r. doszło do masowych egzekucji przeciwników politycznych, tak masowych, że nosiły charakter ludobójstwa. Osoby odpowiedzialne za te morderstwa pełnią obecnie wysokie funkcje, a egzekucje przeciwników politycznych de facto trwają po dziś dzień, podobnie jak egzekucje osób młodocianych. Rolę Iranu, zarówno w regionie jak i globalnie, trudno określić jako stabilizującą. Ciąży na tym kraju zarzut finansowania terroryzmu. Kolegom, którzy kierują się wizją wymiany handlowej, chciałam przypomnieć, że sektor gospodarczy w Iranie jest zdominowany przez Gwardię Rewolucyjną, a takie organizacje jak FATF doradzają najwyższą ostrożność w podejmowaniu tego typu relacji.

 
  
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  Gérard Deprez (ALDE). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, bien sûr, je me félicite que l'accord intervenu sur le nucléaire iranien semble réellement respecté. Bien sûr, je reconnais que cet accord ouvre de nouvelles possibilités et entraînera des avantages pour les deux parties en ouvrant le marché iranien aux entreprises européennes. Bien sûr, je veux ouvrir nos frontières aux jeunes Iraniens. Mais, Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, ce n'est pas parce que le régime iranien a cessé d'être un délinquant nucléaire que nous devons lui octroyer un prix d'honorabilité démocratique et humaniste. À mes yeux, l'ouverture aux échanges et à de nouvelles formes de coopération économique, que je soutiens, doit aller de pair avec des progrès réels dans le domaine des droits de l'homme.

Je rappelle que l'Iran est aujourd'hui le champion du monde toutes catégories pour ce qui est du nombre d'exécutions par rapport au nombre d'habitants. Je rappelle que l'Iran exécute des mineurs, violant ainsi la convention des Nations unies relative aux droits de l'enfant, qu'il a pourtant signée et qui interdit l'application de la peine capitale aux jeunes délinquants. Je rappelle que le régime iranien ne reconnaît pas l'Holocauste. Je rappelle qu'en Iran, toutes les femmes sont des citoyennes de seconde zone. Je rappelle, enfin, que l'actuel ministre de la justice s'est dit publiquement fier d'avoir pris part, en 1988, à la décision d'exécuter des milliers de prisonniers politiques. Personnellement, je qualifie ces exécutions de masse de crimes contre l'humanité.

Alors, Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, coopérer avec l'Iran, oui, fermer les yeux non!

 
  
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  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, the presence of nuclear weapons makes this world an unnecessarily dangerous and volatile place. The EU’s strategies towards Iran should adhere to this basic concept. Iran stands as an example of how, ostracised by the international community, sanction states are driven away from international cooperation into a cave of isolationism.

Despite this, and unlike Israel, Iran became a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The sheer duplicity of nuclear-armed Western states criticising Iran for pursuing such objectives, while they sit on stockpiles of nuclear armaments capable of obliterating the earth several times over, would be comical if it was not so repulsive and dangerous.

Of course, the most vocal opponent of Iran’s nuclear ambition was Israel; a nation with a non-declared stockpile of nuclear weapons, some of which it tried to sell to apartheid South Africa. All states in all regions should encourage and advance nuclear disarmament. The EU and Iran should ensure the terms of the agreement are fulfilled and all EU Member States should also begin unilateral nuclear disarmament and encourage non-EU nuclear-armed states to do likewise.

Sinn Féin, for our part, will ensure that we promote universal nuclear disarmament as a means to remove these immoral, military, useless and potentially Armageddon—creating weapons. To this end we will work to uphold Ireland’s neutrality and to oppose the British Government’s drive to renew its trident weapons of mass destruction. I also want to acknowledge the work of Richard Howitt and to wish him well in the future.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'accordo sul nucleare iraniano è sicuramente un grande successo diplomatico che riporta al tavolo delle negoziazioni un attore regionale fondamentale per gli equilibri dell'intero Medio Oriente, come l'Iran, forse uno dei pochi successi di questi ultimi anni. E il nostro sarà un voto senz'altro favorevole, un voto di incoraggiamento ai passi avanti che l'attuale esecutivo guidato da Haroni sta compiendo nel paese. Un voto che però non dimentica la grave situazione dei diritti umani, che non dimentica l'uso della pena di morte anche su minori, seppure, ricorda, che non è sicuramente il paese con il più alto numero al mondo, quello è la Cina, ma pare che tanti se ne dimentichino quando si parla di esempio del MES Cina; non dimentica neanche la censura e non dimentica la negazione l'Olocausto. Però, serve un'attitudine positiva, un'attitudine che ha portato alla conclusione del trattato stesso, un'attitudine che dobbiamo preservare affinché prevalga l'ala moderata nella sua battaglia contro l'ala conservatrice.

 
  
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  Edouard Ferrand (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, le rapport proposé présente des points de vue assez intéressants mais ne va pas, à certains égards, au bout de sa logique. Il ne s'agit pas de donner un blanc-seing à la République islamique d'Iran, loin de là. Toutefois, à partir du moment où l'on prête une attention particulière à ce point essentiel qu'est la lutte contre l'État islamique, il est clair que l'Iran devient un partenaire essentiel dans ce combat contre le terrorisme, ce qui n'est malheureusement pas le cas d'un certain nombre d'États d'Europe qui sont, justement, demeurés muets par rapport à cette lutte contre l'État islamique.

Je mets également en garde ici contre les initiatives hypocrites des États-Unis qui, quand il s'agit de certaines entreprises européennes, veulent maintenir un embargo. À partir du moment où l'Iran applique pleinement et réellement les accords de Genève, les sanctions doivent être corrélativement et proportionnellement levées à l'encontre de cet État.

 
  
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  Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NI). – Czy Państwo nie widzicie, że jesteście śmieszni? Unia Europejska, która ma siedem lat za sobą i trzydzieści miliardów długów, kłopoty wewnętrzne i zewnętrzne, poucza państwo, które ma cztery tysiące lat tradycji o tym, co ma robić? Pouczacie Iran, że ma znieść karę śmierci i przestrzegać konstytucji, a przecież konstytucja Iranu nakazuje stosowanie kary śmierci. Mówicie, że muszą się pozbyć atomu, ale przecież znamy państwa na przykład Pakistan, Izrael, Ameryka, które mają broń jądrową i są całkiem cywilizowane. Mówicie, że Iran ma znieść karę śmierci, ale przecież znamy państwa takie jak USA, Japonia – bardzo cywilizowane – które mają karę śmierci, bo macie mentalność kolonialną. Tak samo, jak żeście sto lat temu pouczali Afrykańczyków, jak mają żyć, tak samo pouczacie teraz dumnych Persów, jak mają żyć. Oni tego nie muszą na szczęście wysłuchiwać.

A co byście powiedzieli, gdyby Iran zrobił konferencję, przeczytał te dokumenty Unii Europejskiej i powiedział, że Unia musi przywrócić karę śmierci, żeby stać się znowu państwem cywilizowanym? A kto wam powiedział, że wartości unijne są lepsze niż wartości irańskie? Kto wam powiedział? Jesteście imperialistami, którzy nie tolerują odmienności, a poza tym sądzę, że Unia Europejska musi zostać zniszczona.

 
  
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  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Porozumienie nuklearne z Iranem to była dobra wiadomość wśród wielu bardzo złych wiadomości z tego regionu i z całego otoczenia Unii Europejskiej. Dobra wiadomość to nie był tylko sam „deal”, ale proces implementacji, który był procesem budowy zaufania pomiędzy partnerami. Bezsporna w tym zasługa External Action Service. Cała wiedza, jaką zgromadziłem jako szef delegacji do spraw Iranu w Parlamencie Europejskim, mówi mi, że nie ma lepszej metody wspomagania sił, które nazywamy reformatorskimi, niż otwieranie Iranu na świat i współpraca na możliwie szerokich polach. Nie ma lepszej możliwości. Zaświadcza o tym także nowa kompozycja „match list”, czyli Parlamentu Europejskiego sformowanego już po zawarciu porozumienia. Teraz ważne jest, aby przeciętny człowiek, „man in the street”, w Teheranie odczuł skutki tego otwarcia w swoim poziomie życia.

Oczywiście nie jest łatwo znaleźć punkt równowagi pomiędzy interesami geopolitycznymi, gospodarczymi i obroną wartości, z których nigdy nie zrezygnujemy. Sprawozdanie pana Howitta jest szukaniem tej równowagi. Wskazuje pola współpracy – czyli gospodarka z nazwaniem wąskiego gardła, jakim są usługi bankowe, ochrona środowiska, energetyka, walka z przemytem narkotyków – ale mówi też o różnicach i nazywa je po imieniu: liczebność wyroków kary śmierci, potraktowanie mniejszości etnicznych i religijnych, niezadowalająca rola Iranu jako stabilizatora regionu. Jestem głęboko przekonany, że w relacjach z Iranem szanse przeważają nad zagrożeniami.

 
  
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  Damiano Zoffoli (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, grazie al relatore Howitt, intervengo per esprimere il mio appoggio a una relazione che va nella giusta direzione: si tratta di una proposta equilibrata che va letta e considerata in tutti i suoi punti, paragrafi, direi virgole comprese. Una presa di posizione del Parlamento europeo che sostiene il lavoro prezioso dell'Alto rappresentante Federica Mogherini che definì l'accordo sul nucleare, di cui questa relazione in qualche modo è figlia, un segno di speranza per il mondo in un tempo in cui la speranza sembra essere in crisi. Quell'accordo è basato sul rispetto delle regole su cui bisogna vigilare attentamente.

Ma non basta, bisogna ora creare un clima di fiducia reciproco fra Iran e Unione europea. Le relazioni devono essere sviluppate attraverso un dialogo a più livelli che coinvolga contatti politici, diplomatici, economici, accademici, tecnici, interpersonali, che comprendono gli attori della società civile, le ONG e i sostenitori dei diritti umani. Un dialogo, si diceva, di ampio respiro, aperto, franco, critico, quando necessario. Abbiamo interessi economici comuni, penso in particolare alla lotta contro i cambiamenti climatici. L'Iran è al secondo posto livello mondiale per riserve di gas, al quarto per petrolio. La cooperazione energetica può svolgere un ruolo significativo nella diversificazione delle fonti di approvvigionamento per l'Unione europea. L'Unione può affiancare l'Iran nelle sue diverse sfide ambientali, fra cui la scarsità d'acqua, la lotta contro la desertificazione.

Investiamo con fiducia nei giovani europei ed iraniani per avvicinare le società e le culture, aumentando gli scambi fra studenti e ricercatori. Voglio leggere infine testualmente l'invito del Parlamento europeo contenuto nella relazione: "invita all'Iran a rispettare, tutelare e osservare gli impegni assunti nell'ambito della Costituzione della Repubblica islamica dell'Iran, del Patto internazionale sui diritti politici e civili, della Convenzione sui diritti del fanciullo, del Patto internazionale sui diritti economici, sociali e culturali, rispettando libertà di espressione, di opinione, di associazione, di pensiero, di coscienza, di religione senza discriminazione etnica o sociale o di orientamento sessuale". Su queste basi – ho finito Presidente – è possibile lavorare insieme per garantire pace, stabilità in Medio Oriente, combattere il terrorismo e prevenire la tragedia di milioni di profughi.

 
  
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  Mark Demesmaeker (ECR). – Collega's, ik zeg het maar meteen. Ik ben niet van plan mijn fiat te geven aan een verslag als dat in de handen van een theocratisch regime in Iran gebruikt kan en zál worden als een propaganda-instrument.

We hebben jaren over de nucleaire overeenkomst onderhandeld en ondertussen hebben we een dramatische stijging gezien van het aantal executies in Iran. Volgens de Verenigde Naties zijn er vorig jaar alleen al zo'n 1 000 mensen opgehangen. Dat is het hoogste aantal terechtstellingen per capita in de wereld.

Iran is ook recordhouder van het aantal executies van minderjarigen. Jazeker, onder druk van de strenge sancties van de Europese Unie werd Iran gedwongen om zijn nucleaire ambities terug te schroeven en om de nucleaire overeenkomst te aanvaarden, wat nodig is. Maar laten we niet naïef zijn. Dit betekent niet dat we nu plots te maken krijgen met een meer gematigd regime. De dagelijkse realiteit bewijst het tegendeel.

Een voorbeeld? Dezelfde functionarissen die in 1988 30 000 politieke gevangenen lieten executeren en daarmee een van de zwaarste misdaden tegen de menselijkheid begingen, bezetten nu nog altijd topposities in het huidige regime. Een daarvan is de huidige minister van Justitie. Hij verklaarde onlangs zelfs dat hij trots is op de rol die hij speelde bij het bloedbad!

We zien ook de destructieve rol van Iran in de conflicten in de regio. Iran levert de financiële middelen, de wapens en de militieleden voor z’n oorlogen bij volmacht in Syrië, in Irak, in Jemen, in Libanon en op andere plaatsen. Als Iran eindelijk een verantwoordelijke staat wil zijn waar ook wij zaken mee kunnen doen, dan moet het in de eerste plaats stoppen met dat soort schurkengedrag.

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (ALDE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, há cerca de um ano atrás foi alcançado um acordo histórico com o Irão que representou um marco na luta contra a proliferação nuclear e um passo importante para tornar o mundo num local mais seguro.

Com o levantamento das sanções económicas e financeiras, relacionadas com o programa nuclear do Irão, a Europa tem procurado aproveitar as oportunidades de que um mercado com 80 milhões de pessoas representa, nem que para tanto tenha que fechar os olhos às constantes violações dos direitos humanos do regime ditatorial dos ayatolas.

Mas se é verdade que a Europa tudo faz para beneficiar dessas oportunidades, não deixa de ser menos verdade que a expansão das relações institucionais e comerciais deve ser estritamente condicionada aos progressos alcançados pelo Irão no campo da defesa dos direitos humanos.

Entendo, por isso, que a moção de resolução relativa ao Irão que foi votada este mês pela Comissão dos Assuntos Externos do Parlamento Europeu não traduz essa condicionalidade e mantém uma inaceitável postura do business as usual face a um regime opressor que sistematicamente manipula o processo democrático, detém um triste recorde de violações dos direitos humanos, é líder mundial das execuções per capita e de menores de 18 anos de idade, e é repressor de mulheres e de minorias religiosas.

Por tudo isto, Sr. Howitt, entendo que é nossa obrigação fazer com que esta resolução não se torne num mero instrumento de propaganda política para o regime teocrático de Teerão, que, sendo um regime que necessita deste nível de violência para reprimir os seus próprios cidadãos, mostra grandes fragilidades para se poder tornar num verdadeiro parceiro diplomático e económico credível e confiável para a União Europeia.

Caros colegas, os direitos humanos não são negociáveis, eles fazem parte da nossa responsabilidade coletiva enquanto seres humanos e europeus!

 
  
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  Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL). – Arvoisa puhemies, noin 30 vuotta sitten 30 000 poliittista vankia, mukana tuhansia naisia, teloitettiin Iranissa. Osa teloitetuista oli vain 15-vuotiaita, osa raskaana. Näihin rikoksiin syyllisiä on edelleen johtavissa toimissa, ja he jopa kehuskelevat ylpeinä näistä tekemisistään. Tällaiset henkilöt on välittömästi tuotava kansainvälisen tuomioistuimen eteen, eikä tällaista voida vain katsella sivusta, vaikka aikaa on kulunut.

On ymmärrettävä, että ei ole kyse vain ydinaseista. Kun lisäämme yhteistyötä, on meidän johdonmukaisesti vaadittava ihmisoikeuksien kunnioittamista. Yhteistyö hyödyttää kaikkia vain silloin, jos se tehdään oikeista lähtökohdista. Emme saa hylätä Iranin kansaa päästäksemme maan valtaville markkinoille. Emme, vaikka jotkut muut maat toimisivat toisin. Raha ei saa mennä demokratian ja ihmisoikeuksien edelle.

Meidän on muistettava, että uskonnollisten äärikonservatiivien valta on sementoitu iranilaiseen järjestelmään eikä demokraattisia uudistuksia voi viedä läpi ilman sen hyväksyntää. Iran ei ole ainoa epädemokraattinen ja ihmisoikeuksia polkeva valtio Lähi-idässä. EU:n pitää olla tasapuolinen. Vakautta voidaan rakentaa ainoastaan nykyistä johdonmukaisimmalla toiminnalla. Lännen on vihdoin pantava ihmisoikeudet ja rauhan rakentaminen kaikkien valtapelien edelle.

 
  
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  Barbara Kappel (ENF). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar! Nach Abschluss des Nuklearabkommens braucht die EU nun eine neue Strategie gegenüber dem Iran, denn das Abkommen bietet eine Chance für Reformen auf politischer, wirtschaftlicher und zivilgesellschaftlicher Ebene. Der Europäische Auswärtige Dienst trägt dem bereits Rechnung mit der Einrichtung einer Iran Task Force und der Eröffnung einer EU-Delegation in Teheran.

Von besonderer Wichtigkeit sind jetzt aber die Handels- und Wirtschaftsbeziehungen. Hier eröffnet sich großes Potenzial für europäische Unternehmen. Allein im ersten Halbjahr dieses Jahres wurde im Kontext des Abkommens das Handelsvolumen zwischen dem Iran und Europa um 43 % erhöht, 30 iranische Banken haben sich dem SWIFT angeschlossen.

Die iranische Regierung ist sehr ambitioniert und verfolgt das Ziel, ein jährliches Wirtschaftswachstum von acht Prozent zu erreichen. Dazu braucht das Land ausländische Direktinvestitionen. In den kommenden zehn Jahren werden allein 1 000 Milliarden Euro in den Ausbau der Infrastruktur investiert.

Der Iran ist auch die zweitgrößte Volkswirtschaft im Nahen und Mittleren Osten, und für die kommenden zwei Jahre wird mit einer Vervierfachung des aktuellen Handelsvolumens zwischen der EU und dem Iran gerechnet. Die EU war vor den Sanktionen der größte Handelspartner des Irans, und es muss jetzt unser Ziel sein, dass die EU diese Topposition wieder einnimmt.

 
  
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  Zoltán Balczó (NI). – Elnök Asszony! 2015 júliusában került sor a nukleáris megállapodás megkötésére Iránnal. Sajnos a szankciók feloldása azonban lassan és csak részben történt meg. Elsősorban az Egyesült Államok akadályozta a banki hitelezési együttműködést. Idézek a jelentésből: „A közös érdekek és különbségek realisztikus felmérésére van szükség.” Igen, a különbséget is reálisan kell fölmérni, hogy egy más kultúrájú, más értékrendű országról van szó. A legtöbb kritika Iránt a kábítószeres bűncselekmények miatti kivégzések miatt éri. Vegyük figyelembe azonban az ország veszélyeztetettségét: az ópiumlefoglalások 86%-a Iránban történik. Egy módosító javaslat azt tartalmazza, hogy a gazdasági együttműködés feltétele a halálbüntetés eltörlése legyen. Ha ezt megszavazza ez a Parlament, akkor legyen következetes, és azonnal szüntesse be az Egyesült Államokkal a TTIP-tárgyalást, mert az Egyesül Államok államainak többségében most is van halálbüntetés.

 
  
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  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). – Señora Presidenta, el acuerdo de Viena sobre el programa nuclear de Irán ha abierto una nueva etapa en las relaciones de este país con la Unión Europea y con la comunidad internacional en general. La completa implementación del acuerdo debe seguir siendo una prioridad para nosotros, si bien su progresivo cumplimiento hace posible avanzar hacia una relación bilateral más amplia y constructiva.

Las verificaciones realizadas por el Organismo Internacional de la Energía Atómica nos permiten, hoy por hoy, trabajar sobre nuevos ámbitos de cooperación y aprovechar las oportunidades que se presentan, desde el diálogo político al comercio y las inversiones, pasando por la energía y el medio ambiente. Un diálogo en el que no debemos olvidar nuestros principios, por lo que también deben estar presente los derechos humanos, como usted mismo hace unos minutos nos confirmaba, señor Comisario.

Por otra parte, la importancia de Irán en el marco regional es evidente: su concurso es fundamental en la solución de las distintas crisis que vive en estos momentos Oriente Próximo. En particular, me refiero al conflicto en Siria y a la lucha contra el Dáesh.

Irán debe tener una actitud más constructiva en la búsqueda de la paz en Siria y también en la lucha contra el terrorismo; debe usar su ascendencia sobre algunos de los grupos y países que actúan en la región para evitar una escalada aún mayor de los conflictos regionales.

Necesitamos que Irán contribuya a la seguridad de la región y a la de los países que la integran, incluido Israel. No caben excepciones.

Irán, sobre la base del cumplimiento del acuerdo de Viena, tiene que seguir continuando ganándose la simpatía de la comunidad internacional y contribuir activamente a la paz, superando enfrentamientos religiosos y luchas por la hegemonía regional que están desgarrando Oriente Próximo y la comunidad musulmana.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE). – Madame la Présidente, ce n'est pas vraiment un rappel au règlement.

Je viens d'avoir une intervention, celle de mon collègue Millán Mon, sans aucune traduction en français. Je ne sais pas si c'est un problème avec l'espagnol ou la cabine française, mais j'aimerais comprendre et entendre la suite de notre débat.

 
  
 

President. OK, we will try to get information, but now I will give the floor to Mr Mamikins.

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D). – Madam President, colleagues, Commissioner, I would like to thank rapporteur Mr Richard Howitt for a very balanced report. This report stresses all the positive changes that have happened in Iran recently, outlining future cooperation between the EU and Iran. But from the other side it contains criticisms and highlights the challenges that we face.

In spite of some unsolved problems, I would like to say that it is a success story for our diplomacy. In the last year Iranian and European diplomacy managed to raise our relations from a very low point and to give our relations a positive trend.

Iran is our partner in the fight against ISIS and al-Nusra, which are designated terrorist organisations by the United Nations Security Council. The European Parliament should play an important role in the process of establishing a friendly cooperation framework with Iran in which we can receive positive results in the issues we are interested in or resolve problems we are concerned about. In this way we should be wise and patient and try to avoid the temptation to use offensive language. Why? Because emotional criticism will lead us to the opposite direction. It helps Iranian conservatives, who are very strong and who resist any improving relations with the Western world.

I do not think that this is what we really want. That is why I would like to invite you to support Richard Howitt’s balanced and wise approach.

 
  
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  Bas Belder (ECR). – Dit verslag pretendeert een EU-strategie voor Iran te geven. Hoe is dat echter mogelijk wanneer de leidende politieke krachten van de Islamitische Republiek Iran volledig buiten beschouwing blijven? Denk aan opperste leider Khamenei en de Iraanse Revolutionaire Garde. Mijnheer Howitt, een onbegrijpelijke omissie!

Dit verslag vormt één groot pleidooi voor “business as usual” met Iran. De grootste profiteur van dit beleid zal echter niet de bevolking zijn maar de Iraanse Revolutionaire Garde, op grond van zijn dominante en verheven positie in ’s lands economie. De destabiliserende, revolutionaire rol van dit machtsmiddel bij uitstek van opperste leider Khamenei, in de regio en daarbuiten, is evident. Opnieuw, een onbegrijpelijke omissie!

Dit verslag verzwijgt de Iraanse vernietigingsdrang jegens de Joodse staat Israël. Het verzwijgt ook de Iraanse ontkenning en zelfs ridiculisering van de Holocaust. Mijn amendementen, mijnheer de rapporteur, moffelde u weg, u verwierp ze: een min erbij! Voor de derde keer: een onbegrijpelijke, immorele omissie. Collega’s, steun daarom het corrigerende amendement van mevrouw Schaake, dat ik zelf ook heb ondertekend.

Mevrouw de voorzitter, dit verslag geeft geen EU-strategie voor Iran. Het is politieke fictie. Het spoort de EU en haar lidstaten juist aan de ingeslagen, heilloze dwaalweg richting Teheran te vervolgen. De schade en schande voor de Europese Unie en voor de ondersteuners van dit verslag zal, vrees ik, niet gering zijn!

 
  
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  Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea (ALDE). – Señora Presidenta, señor Comisario, el acuerdo con Irán es un hito importantísimo, estamos de acuerdo. Pero este éxito diplomático, Señorías, no nos olvidemos, se ha hecho tratando con un Estado, con un régimen de terror. Un régimen fundamentalista, que sigue ejecutando de manera sistemática, que niega el Holocausto, que ejecuta a niños y que además perpetra de manera diaria la tortura.

Yo creo en el futuro de Irán porque creo en los iraníes. Conozco muy bien su amor por la libertad y su coraje milenario y por eso sé que un día se librarán de la tiranía de los clérigos.

Yo apoyo la iniciativa de la Alta Representante Mogherini y aplaudo su excelente trabajo diplomático.

Pero estoy absolutamente en contra de cualquier forma de apaciguamiento como el que pretende propagar la extrema izquierda, como mis colegas de Podemos. ¿Cuánto dinero ha recibido su líder de los mulás? ¿Cuánta financiación para «producción de televisión» recibe cada semana de parte de un Estado que financia el terrorismo? ¿Por qué su líder no denuncia las ejecuciones y torturas en Irán? ¿Por qué su líder no condena y denuncia públicamente la violación sistemática de los derechos de la mujer o la atroz persecución y ejecución de homosexuales?

Hay quien está deseando aceptar el dinero de la tiranía iraní para sus propios fines. Es más, hay quien lo ha aceptado para financiar su propaganda, pero los europeístas, no podemos vender nuestros principios. No, Señorías, no podemos.

 
  
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  Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL). – Señora Presidenta, el acuerdo nuclear firmado entre Irán y los miembros del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas en 2015 es una muy buena noticia. Fue una buena noticia para las relaciones internacionales. Solo que hay que comparar cómo se trataron las armas de destrucción masiva en Irak —sin diplomacia, sin hacer caso a los relatores o a los investigadores de las Naciones Unidas — y qué ha ocurrido cuando se ha puesto en marcha la diplomacia.

Es una buena noticia también para la estabilidad de la región y es una buena noticia para la no proliferación nuclear —algo que se debería aplicar también a Israel, que tiene más de trescientas cabezas nucleares, que incumple también los derechos humanos, y nadie le dice nada—.

Pero en este informe de estrategia de la Unión Europea con Irán volvemos a caer en los errores que enfangan las relaciones internacionales: no se pide el levantamiento total de las sanciones estadounidenses —sanciones unilaterales, extraterritoriales, que afectan también a empresas de la Unión, pero que afectan, sobre todo, al pueblo iraní—.

Poner a Hizbulá al nivel de Al Nusra es una locura o una miopía. ¿Por qué? Porque Hizbulá es una organización político-militar que forma parte del Gobierno libanés —tiene varios ministros—. Y, además, a la parte política no la hemos incluido en esas organizaciones terroristas. Y Al Nusra es Al Qaeda. No lo olvidemos, por favor.

Cuando se pide el respeto de los derechos humanos —refugiados, peticiones de asilo—, podemos estar de acuerdo, pero quizás primero tengamos que aplicárnoslo a nosotros antes de dar lecciones.

En resumen, señor Howitt, no es un mal informe pero, a mi juicio, se queda a un paso de lo que debería ser la base para un buen entendimiento entre naciones soberanas.

 
  
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  Udo Voigt (NI). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich halte diese Entschließung für eine Zumutung für den Iran.

Herr Howitt hat zu Recht darauf verwiesen, dass es einmal ein Prinzip der Nichteinmischung in die Angelegenheiten anderer Völker gab. Ich denke, an 34 Stellen halten wir hier dem Iran etwas vor, was wir sonst den anderen Ländern nicht vorhalten. Wie weit sind wir denn mit den USA? Mehrere Kollegen haben es angesprochen: Dort gilt nicht nur die Todesstrafe – in Israel gilt die Todesstrafe übrigens auch –, nein, in beiden Ländern praktiziert man auch die Tötung von Menschen, von Ausländern im Ausland ohne Gerichtsverfahren, ohne faires Verfahren, ohne Rechtstaatlichkeit, und niemand sagt, wir können mit diesen Staaten nicht verhandeln. Wie sieht es denn mit Saudi-Arabien aus? Wie sieht es aus: Wir kaufen Autos aus Südkorea und Japan, obwohl es dort die Todesstrafe gibt.

In Ziffer 34 wird die vollständige Achtung der Souveränität aller Staaten in der Region gefordert. Fangen wir doch mit der EU an! Unsere Flugzeuge verletzen doch Tag für Tag die vollständige Souveränität in dieser Region.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Madam President, like most of us I also welcome the nuclear agreement signed with Iran. After the agreement we need to find a way to reengage Iran with the international community. First of all we need to work on political engagement in Iran. Here we can contribute with inter-parliamentary dialogue between the European Parliament and the Majlis.

Before strengthening economic and trade ties, however – and I want to emphasise this – we have to make sure that Iran is fully respecting international standards, especially those concerning human rights. This includes changing the policy of the Iranian regime towards the death penalty, especially in cases of the execution of juveniles. It needs to be clear that the EU stands on the side of respect for human rights and human life. This has been central to EU human rights and foreign policy, and it has to stay like that in our future relations with Iran.

Although I believe that opening relations with Iran can be beneficial for the Middle East region and the EU, we have to remain vigilant in areas of security and the fight against terrorism. Relations with Iran are still very fragile. The EU can be an important partner for Iran; however, we will need to find mutual understanding beyond the use of nuclear energy.

 
  
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  Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, come è stato ricordato da molti colleghi, l'accordo firmato nel luglio del 2015 rappresenta un'opportunità unica per provare ad inserire l'Iran in un contesto internazionale. Non possiamo perdere questa occasione, perché senza l'Iran non ci sarebbe la possibilità concreta di creare una struttura di sicurezza in quella parte del mondo. Non sarà facile. I temi da affrontare sono quelli che sono stati ricordati, alcuni dei quali sono già stati positivamente risolti almeno nel primo impatto, e altri, invece, dovranno essere nuovamente ripercorsi per arrivare a delle soluzioni definitive.

Personalmente credo che per quanto concerne il tema dei diritti umani, questo sia oggettivamente la priorità del nostro lavoro futuro. Ciò che riguarda la pena capitale, la condizione dei minori e delle donne, la libertà di espressione e di religione, sono la chiave di volta di un assetto futuro che sia non soltanto condivisibile, ma che abbia i tratti e le caratteristiche di una civiltà che aiuta a garantire la sicurezza non soltanto a casa sua, ma per l'intero mondo. Dunque, su questo bisognerà lavorare. Bisogna però apprezzare i passi in avanti che anche su questi aspetti delicati sono stati fatti. La relazione ha per questo un tratto positivo che va riconosciuto e dovrà essere approvata con convinzione.

Vorrei aggiungere, da ultimo, che bisognerà poi che ci concentiamo nel futuro sul rapporto tra i parlamenti degli Stati europei e quello iraniano: non basta soltanto la relazione che si è già creata, bisogna consolidare anche altre ipotetiche relazioni che saranno utili per il nostro futuro.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, j'ai bien entendu notre rapporteur, M. Howitt, et je le remercie pour ce travail dont on mesure bien ici la complexité et l'ampleur. Mais on a l'impression, tout de même, que l'on a fait un peu comme si les relations entre l'Union européenne et l'Iran étaient d'ores et déjà parfaitement normalisées après l'accord de Vienne. Les 51 paragraphes que compte le rapport sont à l'avenant, empreints d'un optimisme qui me paraît souvent démesuré et même, parfois, d'angélisme.

Certes, le pays s'ouvre. Il se rouvre, dirai-je, aux échanges, à la coopération, au tourisme même, mais je n'en oublie pas son côté pile. La République islamique, quoi qu'en dise son président Rohani, reste – et ce sont les faits rapportés par toutes les ONG présentes sur le terrain – une théocratie totalitaire qui ne connaît point les droits de l'homme.

Le paragraphe 41, à cet égard, est explicite: l'Iran détient un triste record, celui du plus grand nombre d'exécutions par habitant dans le monde. C'est également, comme cela a été dit ici, le dernier pays à mettre à mort des mineurs délinquants, ce qui est une violation flagrante du droit international et de nos valeurs fondamentales en Europe, tout comme les dénis de justice, le sort réservé aux femmes, la négation institutionnalisée de l'Holocauste, l'appel à la destruction d'Israël – pas un mot ici – et le pilotage à Beyrouth du Hezbollah, organisation terroriste qui joue un rôle de premier plan en Syrie aux côtés du régime de Damas.

Autant de raisons pour lesquelles je serai dans l'incapacité, demain, de voter ce rapport si la série d'amendements que j'ai déposée avec mon groupe et une série d'autres d'ailleurs, dont j'ai entendu parler aujourd'hui, ne sont pas acceptées.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. ANTONIO TAJANI
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to thank you, Commissioner Cañete, for your balanced and critical approach to this topic. First of all, we need to face some basic facts. For example, just now, Narges Mohammadi, a family mother and leader of Iran’s human rights centre, was sentenced additionally for sixteen years’ imprisonment for her human rights activities. Iran continues to rank first in the world considering executions per capita. The Iranian regime has been and continues to be one of the main sources of export of terrorism in the region and has contributed heavily in the emergence of Daesh.

These are some facts why the current EU approach can be seen as premature and unbalanced, where EU values and fundamental rights of Iranians are sidelined. The main EU asset is our economic potential, which mullahs desperately need to keep riding on the tiger. But the only way to have a positive impact is firm conditionality between economic relations and credible progress in respect of basic human rights. This is a key moment – conditionality – which this report lacks, with all due respect to our colleague Howitt for his serious work.

Iran continues to be one of the most brutal regimes in the world. And one fact: the current Minister of Justice has turned out to be responsible for the mass murders of 34 000 political prisoners in 1988. He claims he is proud of it. We cannot make deals with a person who has bloody hands.

Therefore I agree with colleague Schaake that if the ALDE amendments will not be adopted tomorrow, then it will be very difficult to vote for this report.

 
  
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  Jaromír Štětina (PPE). – Vážené dámy, vážení pánové, zítra budeme společně

schvalovat zprávu o strategii EU vůči Íránu po jaderné dohodě. V bodu 12 hovoříme o íránském lidu. Apelujeme na EU, aby v zájmu zlepšení životních podmínek íránských občanů rozvíjela hospodářskou spolupráci s jejich zemí.

Já bych rád apeloval na to, abychom na íránské občany mysleli prvotně v jiných ohledech. Opětovné navázání vztahů musí na íránské straně představovat příležitost a přínos nejenom pro vládní garnituru a byznys, ale také a především pro politické vězně. Pro obyčejné lidi, jejichž příbuzní byli v posledních letech nespravedlivě popraveni. Pro nejbližší těch, kteří jsou k podobnému trestu nespravedlivě odsouzeni nyní. Obávám se, že pokud je naším partnerem země, jež má nejvyšší počet poprav na hlavu na světě, vyplatí se být velmi obezřetní.

A nyní mi, dámy a pánové, dovolte, abych mluvil anglicky.

I want to commemorate 30 000 political prisoners in Iran who were murdered between August and October 1988. This is a crime against humanity that has remained unpunished. Those who committed those crimes are still at the top of the regime. Therefore, colleagues, please support the amendments to this report.

 
  
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  Lars Adaktusson (PPE). – Mr President, it was with great concern that I read the rapporteur’s original report. Not even once in the text was Iran condemned for its human rights abuses. Not even once was the support for terrorists mentioned. The Iranian policy of anti-Semitism and of calling for the destruction of Israel was completely left out. In the lead-up to the vote in the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Iranian embassies sent me and other Members of this Parliament a letter, a letter in which the agents of the regime expressed their great satisfaction with Mr Howitt’s report. In fact the ambassadors representing one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships expect us as Members of Parliament to support this text. At the same time, Iranian state media have reported that the EU will now, through this report, give its support to the regime and its actions.

The compromise amendments make the report slightly better, and I would like to thank the EPP shadow rapporteur, Mr Brok, for his efforts, but this Parliament has a long tradition of placing human rights at the very core of its relations with other countries. For that reason, I have decided to vote tomorrow for the amendments tabled by the ALDE Group, which will make the report somewhat more balanced.

 
  
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  Ramona Nicole Mănescu (PPE). – Domnule președinte, salut și eu acordul nuclear cu Iranul și sunt de acord că relația economică cu Iranul este foarte importantă, iar investițiile europene sunt cruciale pentru a pune în valoare potențialul său economic. Se știe, cooperarea economică este cea mai rapidă cale prin care pot fi generate schimbări pozitive într-o societate și reprezintă, într-adevăr, o ușă deschisă pentru îmbunătățirea situației drepturilor omului și a respectului față de dreptul internațional, mai ales că ne referim la Iran, un stat condus de un regim totalitar. Sunt absolut necesare implementarea unor măsuri clare economice, într-o economie transparentă, anticorupție și garantarea drepturilor și libertăților civile.

În același timp, o abordare a relației cu Iranul exclusiv din punct de vedere economic, așa cum reflectă acum acest raport, este contraproductivă pe termen lung și nerealistă. În raport, se ignoră abuzurile și se trec cu vederea încălcările flagrante ale drepturilor omului. Această abordare cred că aduce deservicii cetățenilor iranieni, dar și relației pe termen lung între noi și Iran. Ca europarlamentar și european nu vreau ca dublul standard să devină o constantă a politicii noastre atât în interiorul Uniunii, cât și în afara acesteia. Regimul totalitar din Iran refuză să își recunoască greșelile și să implementeze reforme reale, fapt care ridică foarte multe semne de întrebare cu privire la viitorul relației între Iran și Uniunea Europeană. Discursul agresiv practicat de Teheran, mai ales în relație cu Israelul, și sprijinul acordat unor organizații teroriste nu oferă partenerilor internaționali garanția necesară pe o temă atât de sensibilă cum este cea nucleară. Vă mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). – Mr President, I fear that, without the amendments by our colleagues Mr Deprez and Mrs Schaake, the resolution on relations between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran would resemble a document by some European—Iranian chamber of commerce.

In this Parliament we regularly adopt urgent resolutions on unjustly imprisoned activists and victims of state violence. We award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. We would expect that, if we decided to take a stand concerning the Islamic Republic of Iran, we would harshly condemn the executions of thousands of women and young people, we would draw more attention to how the Iranian regime is persecuting people for their beliefs and, in particular, we would demand an investigation into the 1988 massacre in which the regime executed more than 30 000 political prisoners.

I understand that in politics it is sometimes necessary to show goodwill despite reservations, but even then we must not cross the red line that separates politics and diplomacy from faceless cynicism. That line is called human dignity. A state that does not respect human dignity can hardly become a trusted partner.

 
  
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  Fernando Ruas (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, neste dossiê difícil, gostaria apenas de deixar três ideias. Uma primeira, para me congratular pela assinatura deste acordo. Este plano de ação pode representar um marco importantíssimo no caminho para a estabilização política de uma região que tem sido marcada pela instabilidade e também pela existência de inúmeros conflitos que teimam em manter-se e em provocar um elevado nível de sofrimento a diversos povos deste amplo território.

Em segundo lugar, gostaria de lembrar todos aqueles que rejeitam aproximações graduais, em que a mudança e a solidariedade se vão construindo passo a passo e à medida das realizações concretas e do estabelecimento de laços de confiança, de compreensão, de aceitação mútuos, que a nossa União Europeia foi projetada exatamente nestes moldes pelos pais fundadores, afirmando isto mesmo Robert Schuman na sua conhecida declaração.

E é por isto e por acreditar que a mudança se opera mais facilmente, mais rapidamente e mais solidamente através da aproximação e não através da condicionalidade cega, da pura imposição, da absoluta negação do paternalismo eivado de preconceitos culturais, que concordo, genericamente, com a posição adotada pela Comissão AFET.

Antes de terminar, gostaria de sublinhar que existem princípios universais sobre os quais não podemos transigir e a pena de morte é um deles. Inseri diversas alterações neste sentido e é por isso que insisto em plenário, apesar de já estar escrito na resolução, pedindo uma vez mais aos responsáveis iranianos que, como medida de demonstração do seu empenho nesta aproximação entre os nossos povos, imponham imediatamente uma moratória à execução das condenações à pena de morte no seu país.

 
  
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  Adam Szejnfeld (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Omawiamy dzisiaj sprawozdanie, które dotyczy bardzo trudnej kwestii. Z jednej strony oczywiście jest ono skutkiem podpisanego rok temu w Wiedniu porozumienia z Iranem, skutkiem czego eliminujemy, mam nadzieję, jedno z państw, które może posiadać broń jądrowa i zagrażać innym.

Z drugiej strony to porozumienie – i poświęcono temu dużo czasu – daje szansę na nasilenie współpracy gospodarczej między Unią Europejską a Iranem. Jest to sprawa niebywale ważna dla obu stron, także narodu irańskiego i narodów naszych państw członkowskich. Jednym i drugim potrzebna jest dywersyfikacja chociażby źródeł energii: gazu, ropy. To porozumienie daje ogromne możliwości w zakresie wzajemnych inwestycji, które idą być może nie w setki miliardów euro, ale nawet w biliony. Natomiast są wartości ważniejsze niż rozwój gospodarczy, a nawet niż nowe miejsca pracy, i tą najwyższą wartością jest niewątpliwie pokój. Iran nie jest jednak państwem, które do tej pory stwarzało bezpieczeństwo, wręcz przeciwnie, był to kraj, który zagrażał bezpieczeństwu w regionie i na świecie.

Uważam więc, że trzeba dążyć do realizacji tego porozumienia i wzrostu wymiany gospodarczej, wymiany handlowej, wymiany inwestycji, ale też czujnie badać stan realizacji po stronie irańskiej. Państwo to bowiem żyje na bakier z wartościami, które są istotne dla naszej cywilizacji, w związku z czym dopóty nie będzie gwarantowało pokoju regionie i na świecie, dopóki sprawy gospodarcze nie będą mogły przeważać nad naszą współpracą.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (ALDE). – Mr President, the expansion of economic relations with Iran cannot come at the cost of ignoring other things that are of core value to the European Union. The improvement of the human rights situation is a must. Iran must improve the state of women’s rights, freedom of expression and abolish the death penalty.

Iran has joined the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, under which it has the obligation to stop the execution of juvenile offenders. So this is what it must do: stop executing children. Iran also has to release all political prisoners and others that are unjustly detained. The harassment of journalists and the prosecution of Iranian dual nationals has to stop. It is important to guarantee access to fair trial, access to a lawyer and that there will be an end to the systematic torture in prisons.

The abolition of the death penalty is a key objective of EU human rights and foreign policy, and we cannot forget that in our relations with Iran. Iran has an important influence in the region, so it can – and should – play a stabilising role in the region. We call on Iran to play a constructive role in solving the political crisis in Syria and in Iraq, and so on, and cooperate with the EU in countering terrorism and violent extremism in the region.

 
  
 

Interventi su richiesta

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, as a member of the Iranian delegation, I have had ample opportunities to have delegations coming, under our chairman Lewandowski, to discuss many of the issues raised here this evening. I think, on balance, we are getting the right approach. We have to say that the nuclear agreement – and the European Commission played a very important part in it – was one of the great achievements in recent times. That probably, and COP21, were the two greatest national agreements in recent times.

Iran has come a long way, because they stepped back from the nuclear armament because they trusted those of us who were involved in negotiating. Now we have to deliver in terms of economic cooperation but also, as has been pointed out very strongly, a very firm hand must be held with them with regard to human rights and especially the death penalty, which is over-used, without any doubt (if it can ever be justified), in their state.

So I think we are on the right track, but economic cooperation and human rights together is the best way forward.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, lo storico accordo sul nucleare, firmato lo scorso anno a Vienna, ha rappresentato un traguardo importante per la diplomazia internazionale e per il processo di distensione dei rapporti tra Iran e Occidente. Un risultato notevole per la diplomazia multilaterale e per quella europea in particolare, ottenuto anche grazie, e forse soprattutto, al lavoro e alla tenacia dell'Alto rappresentante per la politica estera Federica Mogherini. Un risultato che deve consentire non solo un miglioramento sensibile delle relazioni Unione europea - Iran, ma anche la promozione della stabilità in tutta la regione. Se rispettato, quest'accordo può rappresentare una valida guida su cui costruire una nuova stagione di relazioni di pace tra l'Unione europea e l'Iran, in passato importante partner commerciale, ma affinché ciò possa accadere è fondamentale che l'Iran promuova la nuova stagione di rispetto dei diritti e delle libertà, partendo proprio da una moratoria delle esecuzioni capitali.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, το Ιράν μπορεί να αποτελέσει έναν σημαντικό εταίρο για τα κράτη μέλη της Ένωσης, καθώς αποτελεί μια οικονομία με μεγάλες δυνατότητες, αλλά και έναν εν δυνάμει πόλο σταθερότητας στην ευρύτερη περιοχή, υπό τον όρο όμως ότι θα σέβεται απόλυτα τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα. Άλλωστε η Ευρώπη ήταν ο πρώτος εμπορικός εταίρος του Ιράν πριν από την εφαρμογή των κυρώσεων. Η άρση των κυρώσεων προσφέρει λοιπόν σημαντικές ευκαιρίες. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Υπηρεσία Εξωτερικής Δράσης οφείλει να εργαστεί παραγωγικά, με στόχο την πλήρη αποκατάσταση των σχέσεων, με αμεροληψία και με μόνο γνώμονα τα συμφέροντα των πολιτών. Πρέπει να δώσει έμφαση στις προτεραιότητες που διαμορφώνονται στις δημόσιες και στις μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις, όχι μόνο στον τομέα της ενέργειας αλλά και σε άλλους τομείς. Ειδικότερα πρέπει να μελετηθούν οι δυνατότητες συνεργασίας στον τομέα των κατασκευών, διότι το Ιράν είναι μια χώρα που γνωρίζει ραγδαία ανάπτυξη, ενώ, από την άλλη πλευρά, σε χώρες όπως η Ελλάδα, ο κλάδος των κατασκευών είναι αυτός που έχει πληγεί περισσότερο λόγω της οικονομικής κρίσης και των πολιτικών λιτότητας. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πρέπει λοιπόν να ενθαρρύνει την εξωστρέφεια, όχι μόνο στα λόγια και όχι μόνο εκεί που συμφέρει τις γερμανικές πολυεθνικές.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, colleagues, tomorrow, 25 October, will be the second anniversary of the death of Reyhaneh Jabbari, executed for defending herself against sexual assault by an agent of the Iranian regime when she was 19 years old. We mourn her still, and so in her name I urge the EU External Action Service to set out a clear human rights framework as part of the EU’s engagement with the Iranian Government going forward from this report. There must be a human rights impact assessment, benchmarks and a framework for monitoring and evaluation. This must cover ongoing human rights violations such as the use of torture, the imprisonment of political activists and human rights defenders, and the need to prohibit the execution of children and work towards the elimination of the death penalty. Real progress must be made on women’s rights and the criminalisation of gender-based violence, such as acid attacks on women. The External Action Service must engage constructively with the Iranian authorities on human rights, put them at the core of the process and strive to achieve meaningful progress for people on the ground. Finally, I would like to call on the Iranian Government to free the Anglo-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been imprisoned and detained since April this year.

 
  
 

(Fine degli interventi su richiesta)

 
  
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  Miguel Arias Cañete, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, this has been a very useful exchange and I thank the honourable Members for speaking so clearly. From this debate I conclude that we all share a common interest in ensuring that the joint comprehensive plan of action works for all sides and ultimately that balanced bilateral relations can lead to Iran’s reintegration into the international community, politically, economically and socially, as well as to building a more constructive real environment.

Let me reiterate that we are set to pursue this agenda of balance and incremental engagement, contingent upon the implementation of the joint comprehensive plan of action. But we know that implementation is an ongoing task and we need to be diligent and vigilant in our joint efforts throughout the lifetime of the agreement.

Many Members have referred to the important issue of human rights. Major differences on some issues persist, but we have an opportunity to engage with an influential political player, not least on issues on which we disagree. Human rights remain a matter of concern for the European Union, especially the high number of executions, including those of juvenile offenders and political prisoners.

I would like to close by expressing, once again, my appreciation of Parliament’s role in bringing this important issue to the agenda. I would like, finally, also to repeat my thanks to Mr Howitt for all the work that he has done on this report. We wish him every success in the future.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt, rapporteur. – Mr President, I would like to thank Mr Brok, Mr Tannock, Mr Carver, Ms Anderson, Mr Castaldo, Mr Lewandowski, Mr Mamikins, Mr Cofferati, Mr Kelly and Mr Caputo for their very kind words. I appreciate it. Thank you to Mr Buchner and others who have mentioned the issue of dual nationals. I have myself met the relatives of Mr Foroughi and Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and we do call for their – and others’ – release in paragraph 47.

I have not engaged with the far right in 22 years and I will not start debating with them now, but I do take the questions from PPE and ALDE colleagues seriously. To my friends in the ALDE Group and with greatest respect to Ms Schaake, you say you support the nuclear agreement and the High Representative, yet you submit amendments that you know will undermine it. You have even rejected the compromise that I have offered you on the Holocaust, and you should think again about that.

You say that my report is lacking on human rights and on ending support for Hezbollah. There are 34 references to human rights. In reality, is there any number which would be high enough for you? Ending support for Hezbollah is there in paragraph 34. You cite free and fair elections, the justice system and the treatment of women, yet it is all there: paragraphs 39, 46 and 49. The truth is that I believe you are against the agreement and, if your Group votes against the report, I have to say that I believe it is you who are being illiberal, not me.

To Mr Preda, my report is strictly balanced in seeking to reject sectarianism and to support reconciliation between Tehran and Riyadh. For you to suggest that my Group is itself sectarian is beneath you. As fellow direct colleagues in this Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, you know that I support human rights benchmarks, but choose to say otherwise. Look at my support for a return to a human rights dialogue and also for assessing investment according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. When Mr Adaktusson says that my original draft did not have human rights at all – it is just wholly false. I have asked you to examine your consciences and you should do so before saying that.

To Mr Belder, sovereignty for Israel as well as other countries in the Middle East is there – in paragraphs 34 and 35 – and you should remember that I personally was author of the written declaration on responsibility for the Holocaust. To many Members, I am interested in how often the words ‘propaganda for a theocratic regime’ have been repeated across this debate. It does point to the lobbying interest behind many of the criticisms aired. To my friend, Ms Ries, the step-by-step process I describe in paragraph 4 is hardly what you called normalisation.

Mr Kelam paid me a compliment, for which I thank him, but he and others who referred to ISIS-Daesh must recognise that they are just as much an enemy of Iran as to us. To Mr Ruas and all who referred to the death penalty, I reiterate that my report clearly states that Iran has the highest per capita execution rate, that we oppose the death penalty and call for an immediate moratorium. I understand that you want to be associated with these calls, but this report hardly needs amendment to achieve them.

Finally, I remember sitting in an Embassy of a Member State in the Middle East, being told that the bombing of Iran was more likely than not. Another Middle East war with all the consequences. European diplomacy has helped avert that terrible fate and we should be very careful in this Parliament about acting irresponsibly in a way that could jeopardise it.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà domani, martedì 25 ottobre, alle 12.00.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR), в писмена форма. – Санкциите бяха сериозно политическо лицемерие и двоен стандарт. ЕС продължава да търгува със Саудитска Арабия и Турция, където драстичните нарушения на човешките права са кърваво всекидневие. Подписването на споразумението с Иран е огромна стъпка напред в нормализирането на отношенията ни с тази държава. Иран е държава с огромен икономически потенциал и дълбоки традиции, единствената стабилна държава във взривоопасен регион. Иран може да бъде важен партньор на ЕС. Тази нормализация на отношенията трябва да бъде основана на взаимно уважение и зачитане на вътрешния ред и правото на всяка суверенна държава да гради своето общество на основата на своите традиции. Всяко т.нар. „всеобхватно споразумение“ с Иран, което ще изисква от страната да промени своето устройство и традиции или да изостави своите интереси в региона и на международната сцена, е напълно неприемливо, неуважително и е обречено на провал. Такъв провал не е в интерес на ЕС, а само и единствено на опасните и диктаторски режими в Турция и Саудитска Арабия. Именно затова ще гласувам против тази резолюция.

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (ECR), in writing. – The latest events show that the relationship between the EU and Iran has reached a detente. Iran is the second-largest economy in the Middle East with an estimated nominal GDP of 397 billion USD in 2015. EU trade with Iran currently stands at USD 8 billion and is expected to quadruple in the next two years. Half of Iranian households’ energy needs are met by natural gas. Iran has on average 300 days of sunshine per year; we need to take into consideration the potential of developing renewable energies in Iran. Iran’s ratification of the rights of the child prohibits child executions and Iran must ensure that that child execution, arbitrary and political executions stop. I also believe that joining the extractive transparency initiative is an effective measure. EU relationships with Iran must come with shared values on people’s rights, with freedom for those politically detained, with real justice for the dead and with stopping the dictatorship. Any dictatorship based on fear and injustice is meant to fail. My call to the Iranian leadership is to stop the abuses and the imprisonment of the political opponents and to build a society based on freedom. Only free people can take a country forward.

 
Last updated: 27 January 2017Legal notice