Procedure : 2010/2504(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0082/2010

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 10/02/2010 - 9.6
CRE 10/02/2010 - 9.6

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0078/2010

to wind up the debate on the statement by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Iran

Adrian Severin, Hannes Swoboda, Roberto Gualtieri, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Ana Gomes, María Muñiz De Urquiza on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Iran  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran,

–   having regard to the EU Presidency statement of 28 December 2009 on the recent demonstrations in Iran,

–   having regard to the Declaration issued by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on 12 January 2010 on the trial of seven Baha’i leaders in Iran,

–  having regard to the European Council declaration on Iran of 10/11 December 2009,

–  having regard to United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 62/149 of 18 December 2007 and 63/168 of 18 December 2008 on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to all of which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party,

–   having regard to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Statute and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas political developments in Iran following the disputed presidential elections of June 2009 have shown that there is a great potential for popular-led, democratic change in the country spearheaded by its vibrant, well-educated and active civil society,

B. whereas the ongoing peaceful demonstrations against the perceived electoral fraud and severe limitations on political and civil rights and fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of expression and media, imposed by the Islamic Republic are being violently repressed by the government, in particular by the Revolutionary Guard and the Basij militia,

C. whereas thousands of peaceful protesters and dissidents, including students, women’s rights activists, lawyers, prominent human rights defenders, journalists, trade union activists and reformist clerics have been arbitrarily arrested in a clear effort to intimidate critics and stifle dissent; whereas government officials have confirmed that, since June 2009, at least 30 protesters have died in protests or in detention and at least seven more died in clashes on 27 December, the holy day of Ashura; whereas the actual number of deaths caused by government-sponsored violence is believed to be much higher,

D. whereas Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour were hanged on 28 January 2010 by the Iranian authorities after an unfair trial for alleged membership of the ‘monarchist opposition’; whereas the execution of another nine people sentenced to death has been announced; whereas Iran has one of the world’s highest execution rates; whereas it is the leading violator of the ban on capital punishment against juvenile offenders,

E. whereas many of those arrested have reported being beaten or tortured, and in some cases sexually assaulted, in prisons and secret detention facilities; whereas an inquiry conducted by the Majlis of the Islamic Republic of Iran in early 2010 determined that Deputy Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was directly responsible for the deaths of at least three detainees from torture and neglect in Kahrizak prison, which the judiciary had ordered to be shut down three years previously,

F. whereas beginning in August 2009 the judiciary staged show trials of hundreds of prominent reformers and activists allegedly connected with ‘rioters’ attempting to promote a ‘velvet revolution’; whereas during these trials many of those dissidents gave televised confessions that appeared coerced,

G. whereas, in addition to the human rights crisis following the election, security forces have been systematically harassing members of religious minorities, such as Baha’is, Jews and Sunnis, and carrying out a campaign of arbitrary arrests against Kurdish, Azeri, Baluch, and Arab civil society and political activists,

H. whereas the Iranian Government continues to accuse European countries of interference in Iranian political developments; whereas such accusations led, in the post-election period, to the expulsion of two UK diplomats, the arrest of several Iranian staff working in the UK Embassy and the arrest of two German diplomats for their alleged role in protests in Iran marking the holy day of Ashura in December 2009,

I. whereas the Iranian Government has cracked down heavily on the domestic and foreign media, severely restricting the Iranian people’s access to information; whereas some European companies were supplying technology that made it possible to censor the reporting of protests in Tehran and other Iranian cities,

J. whereas Iran missed the end-of-year deadline to comply with calls to open its nuclear facilities to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors; whereas Iran has so far done nothing to rebuild the confidence of the international community in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme,

K. whereas Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on 3 February 2010 that Iran is ready to send its enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment,

L. whereas UNESCO has decided to nominate Tehran as World Capital of Philosophy for 2010 and to organise World Philosophy Day 2010 in Tehran,

1. Wholeheartedly supports the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people; pays tribute to the courage of all Iranian men and women who defend their basic freedoms and democratic principles by demonstrating peacefully; believes that these people are expressing their wish to live in a society free of repression and intimidation and in peace with the international community;

2. Recalls that freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly are universal human rights that must be respected, and that Iran has committed itself to respecting these rights as a state party to the ICCPR; urges in this regard that the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression be fully respected by the Iranian Government during the demonstrations announced for 11 February 2010;

3. Strongly condemns the use of violence by the Iranian Government against demonstrators who are seeking to exercise their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; is appalled, in this regard, by the repression of demonstrations following the protests on the day of Ashura and during the funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri; calls for everyone detained for peacefully exercising their right to free expression, association and assembly to be released immediately and unconditionally;

4. Calls for the investigation and prosecution of those government officials and members of the security forces who are responsible for the killing, abuse, torture and rape of demonstrators and detainees;

5. Strongly condemns the recent executions of Mohammed Reza Alizamani and Arash Rahmanipour and the announcement of the forthcoming execution of another nine people sentenced to death in unfair trials; expresses grave concern about the situation of people who are being accused of – and in some cases formally charged with – crimes that carry the death penalty, even though these people merely expressed their opinions about the political situation and civil rights in Iran; reiterates its call to the Iranian authorities to abolish the death penalty and, in the meantime, to establish a moratorium on executions, as called for by UN General Assembly Resolutions 62/149 and 63/168;

6. Deplores the systematic restriction of freedom of information by means of the blocking of websites, a ban on them covering unauthorised demonstrations, and the imposition of new restrictions requiring journalists to obtain permission before covering any story; strongly condemns the decision by the Iranian Government to jam the BBC’s Persian service;

7. Welcomes the Commission’s plans to finance a new TV channel in Farsi; calls on the Council and the Commission to explore more possibilities to help promote democratic change in Iran in the context of the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights or other instruments;

8. Calls on European companies not to supply the Iranian Government with technology that can be used to repress the protests, particularly technology which makes it possible to inspect online communications in order to monitor the contents and track the sources of e-mails, VoIP calls and posts to social networking sites;

9. Considers that accusations of foreign interference in Iranian post-electoral developments are baseless and unacceptable; calls on the Iranian Government immediately to release the two German diplomats arrested for their alleged role in the Ashura protests; asks in this context that the Iranian authorities respect the Vienna Convention and diplomatic norms;

10. Calls on the Council to consider including those members of the security forces who are responsible for the repression of the peaceful demonstrations and for human rights abuses in the list of individuals subject to EU travel bans and the freezing of assets;

11. Reaffirms Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the rules of the non-proliferation regime; takes note of the announcement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about Iran’s readiness to send its enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment; hopes that this announcement will be followed by concrete steps to ease concerns about its nuclear programme, in line with IAEA requirements;

12. Supports the dual-track approach concerning Iran’s nuclear programme; urges Iran once again to comply fully and without further delay with its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the IAEA, and in particular to meet the requirements set out by the IAEA Board of Governor’s resolution of 27 November 2009; urges the Council to support action by the UNSC if Iran maintains its lack of cooperation with the international community over its nuclear programme; calls on the Council to be ready to take the necessary ‘smart’, targeted and non-proliferation-focused measures to accompany this UNSC process;

13. Calls on the Council to remain ready to engage with Iran in order to reach a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue, as well as regional security issues, taking into account Iran’s legitimate security interests and concerns, should Iran take concrete decision to that effect; points out that such an engagement should not detract from the promotion of democracy and human rights in Iran; is convinced that a democratic and strong Iran could play a key role in stabilising and pacifying the region;

14. Invites UNESCO to reconsider its decision to organise World Philosophy Day 2010 in Tehran and its support for the proposal from the Italian National Commission for UNESCO to maintain the nomination of Tehran as the host city of this initiative, and instead to hold the relevant activities in other capitals, thereby sending out a strong signal emphasising the lack of freedom of expression in Iran;

15. Deplores the decision of the Iranian Government to cancel the visit by a European Parliament delegation to Iran; considers that such a visit could contribute to the political dialogue between the EU and Iran, provided that the delegation has the mandate and the opportunity to meet the government, the opposition, human rights defenders and civil society representatives;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Government and the Majlis of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Last updated: 13 May 2010Legal notice