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Debates
Martes 14 de enero de 2020 - Estrasburgo Edición provisional

7. Situación en Irak e Irán tras la reciente escalada de las hostilidades (debate)
Vídeo de las intervenciones
PV
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung des Vizepräsidenten der Kommission und Hohen Vertreters der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zur Lage in Iran und Irak nach der jüngsten Eskalation (2020/2506(RSP)).

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, first of all, let me thank this Parliament for its ongoing concern about the situation in the two countries that feature in this debate, as well as in the wider region. It’s not an understatement to say that the recent tensions in Iraq and in the surrounding region have the potential to erase the hard-won progress of recent years, thereby affecting the lives of millions of people.

Allow me to begin this debate by stating one thing very clearly. I am committed, as High Representative, and, as the European Union, we are all committed to working to stop the current cycle of violence in Iraq, which must cease before it spirals out of control once again.

This is also why I convened an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Ministers Council on Friday – coming back from Croatia sooner than expected – from which I received a strong mandate to carry out all necessary diplomatic efforts to contribute to de—escalation in the region, support political dialogue and promote a political regional solution. These are the precise words of the conclusions of the Council. The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission have also been fully engaged in these de—escalation efforts and this is how it should be.

During the past six weeks – in fact already since last year – we have seen an increasing escalation of tension in Iraq, which culminated in the killing of Iranian General Soleimani by a US drone attack, followed by attacks by Iran against bases in Iraq housing troops fighting Daesh, which thankfully did not harm anyone. While it may appear as if, for the moment, the current situation will not escalate further, we, and I personally, have since the very beginning of this crisis been active in urging calm, restraint and de—escalation to all of the relevant parties inside and outside the region, from Iran to Iraq, the UAE, the United States, Turkey, Russia, China and others. We want to ensure that everyone with influence uses this influence to good effect and that we reach a temporary calm.

Why are we so concerned about the current crisis and how it can affect the region? Well, the current situation in Iraq and the risk of further military escalation could jeopardise the substantial achievement in stability and, in particular, the fight against Daesh in recent years. The current situation could generate a number of dangerous consequences. The resumption of Daesh would have a catastrophic humanitarian impact, possibly leading to a dramatic increase in the number of displaced persons. We must avoid that at all costs. For this to occur, preserving the achievements the global coalition has won collectively in the fight against Daesh is imperative. Such a situation would also risk diverting attention from the necessary political reforms that Iraq must undertake, starting with government formation – there is still a caretaker government – and the need to tackle essential social challenges, including fighting corruption.

We have already invested significantly in Iraqi stability, reconstruction and development with the financial support of more than EUR 1.2 billion since 2014. This has focused on humanitarian aid, support for internally displaced persons, stabilisation in the liberated areas, civilian security sector reform through the CSDP EU assistance mission and supporting good governance and job creation.

We need to make sure, with our continued support, that the reforms legitimately demanded by the Iraqi citizens are delivered promptly, also bearing in mind the global commitments taken in Kuwait in February 2018 at the reconstruction conference held there. On this the EU is fully delivering on the pledges we made, with over EUR 400 million mobilised in the last two years to support governance reforms and promote sustainable job creation.

The situation in Iran is also something that we continue to follow closely. We have had a number of tragic incidents, such as the Ukraine International Airlines plane crash on 8 January with 176 people on board, including a high number of EU citizens. Iran has now taken responsibility for this crash. As I said in my statement on 11 January, this was a deplorable tragedy and, once again, I want to send my condolences to the victims’ families. We expect that Iran will continue to cooperate fully and undertake a comprehensive and transparent investigation. In the same week, 59 people died in a stampede during the funeral ceremonies for General Soleimani on 6 January, and 20 individuals lost their lives on 9 January in a bus accident close to Tehran. In this case also, I convey my deepest condolences to all of them.

In the current tense situation, it is more important than ever to keep hold of the instruments that are serving to promote security and, in this context, the JCPOA remains crucial for non—proliferation purposes. A failure to preserve the deal will only add to tensions in the region. Imagine for a second what the situation would be today if Iran had nuclear weapons – and without the JCPOA they would have been able to obtain those.

On 5 January, Iran announced its fifth and, according to its own announcement, final step in the reduction of its nuclear commitments under the deal. This is a worrisome announcement, but it is important to see what the International Atomic Energy Agency reports on how Iran implements this step. As coordinator of the JCPOA, I have been in touch with all the participants on the diplomatic way forward, seeking to preserve unity in the group.

You will have heard that, earlier today, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom invoked paragraph 36, the so-called dispute resolution mechanism, and informed me, in my capacity as coordinator, because they believe that Iran is not meeting its nuclear commitments, referring to the five steps that Iran has taken so far. As coordinator, I will guarantee that the dispute resolution mechanism provides an opportunity to address the issues indicated by France, Germany and the UK and I will oversee this process. I will be in touch with all the participants on the next steps.

I want to underline here that the dispute resolution mechanism is, first and foremost, a process to resolve issues related to the deal’s implementation. The objective of the dispute resolution mechanism will therefore be to find solutions and return to full compliance within the framework of this deal. It is not a matter of imposing sanctions, as some newspapers have been claiming since this morning.

All the remaining participants in the agreement have been clear about their determination to preserve the JCPOA. This unity is crucial and I intend to work hard to preserve it. The European Union position is clear: without this deal, we would lose a crucial element of the international non—proliferation architecture and an important contribution to regional security. A failure to preserve the deal can only add further tensions to the regions.

The time is running out. To reach de—escalation we have to witness this as a broader regional dimension. Tensions in Iraq reflect several of the region’s fractures and have the potential to affect difficult situations elsewhere in the region, from Syria to Lebanon, to Yemen and beyond. In short, the stakes are extremely high for Iraq, for the region as a whole, for the world and, of course, for us. In this context, there have already been calls for months for the European Union to play a bigger role, given that we speak to all – all means all – and we are not, as a group, perceived as having a hidden agenda. Our partners see us as standing for dialogue and peaceful and negotiated resolutions of disputes.

As I mentioned at the beginning, last Friday I convened an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council. During the meeting, we once again reaffirmed our call for urgent de-escalation and maximum restraint. We also reaffirmed our steadfast support for Iraq’s unity, independence and territorial integrity, and underlined our commitment to our partnerships with Iraq and to our continued support for the stability and reconstruction of this country. We also underlined our joint determination to preserve the JCPOA, which we strongly believe to be in all our shared interests and the interest of the region for peace and security.

We were also very clear that a durable solution to the ongoing crisis can only be regional and that we would continue to explore the role that the European Union can play in that. So, with the strong backing of the Council and the Commission, I will personally continue to remain engaged in all of these issues, as I said, talking with everybody and travelling everywhere. I am looking forward to working with you to promote safety, security and prosperity in the region, which is strongly and dangerously jeopardised by the latest events.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Michael Gahler, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Herr Vizepräsident, vielen Dank für Ihre Ausführungen. Ich teile sie im Wesentlichen.

Wir Europäer müssen unsere Rolle als ehrliche Makler in der Region noch aktiver wahrnehmen. Nachdem sich die Ereignisse in Bagdad und Teheran ohne unser Zutun in den letzten Tagen überschlagen haben, haben wir durch eine Vielzahl von Gesprächskontakten mit zu einer Deeskalation beitragen können. Zu der angeordneten Tötung des Chefs der Qods-Brigaden hat der amerikanische Verteidigungsminister Mark Esper seine fachliche Stellungnahme abgegeben, was die Einschätzung der konkreten Gefährdung amerikanischer Personen und Einrichtungen betrifft. Ich habe dem nichts hinzuzufügen.

Im Irak ist der Kampf gegen den IS nicht beendet. Auch hierfür brauchen wir einen funktionierenden irakischen Staat, dessen Regierung keine Marionette Teherans ist. Ich würde es begrüßen, wenn Mitgliedstaaten der EU im NATO-Rahmen oder bilateral ihre Unterstützung der irakischen Streitkräfte fortsetzen könnten. In diesem Sinne sollten Sie auch Ihre Kontakte in den Irak nutzen und vor allem auch dadurch unsere umfangreiche zivile Wiederaufbauhilfe langfristig sichern helfen.

Im Iran sind die Menschen auch über den Abschuss des ukrainischen Flugzeugs empört, insbesondere darüber, dass das Regime sich drei Tage mit der Wahrheit Zeit gelassen hat. Immerhin hat der Iran jetzt die Wahrheit akzeptiert. Daran sollte sich Russland im Hinblick auf den Abschuss von MH17 in der Ostukraine ein Beispiel nehmen.

Aber Iran hat allen Anlass, Abbitte zu leisten. Der beste Weg zu tätiger Reue wäre, offiziell wieder die Verpflichtungen aus dem Atomabkommen zu akzeptieren. Das würde uns in die Lage versetzen, die Möglichkeiten des Zahlungsmechanismus Instex endlich umzusetzen und zusätzliche Sanktionen zu vermeiden. Ich hoffe, im Rahmen des aktivierten Disputklärungsmechanismus kommen wir da zu einer Lösung.

 
  
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  Kati Piri, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, once again we Europeans are put before a fait accompli. The American administration and Iran are playing with global security and, as the EU, we are faced with the possible security risks.

The assassination of Iranian General Soleimani is the latest in a long series of provocations by the United States since the withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement. This has created a very dangerous spiral of instability in the region. It is crucial to support the efforts of the High Representative, to de-escalate tensions and to save the nuclear deal with Iran. This is even more important since the triggering of the dispute resolution mechanism earlier today, but we must also acknowledge the diverging interest with the current US administration and the American withdrawal from the region. This for us can only mean one thing: that the time has come for a realistic debate on Europe’s strategic autonomy to safeguard our own security and interests.

We offer, of course, our condolences to the families of the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight and urge the Iranian authorities to allow international observers to undertake a full and transparent investigation. Iran must also refrain from the use of force, as happened during the last weeks, against peaceful demonstrators who took to the streets protesting against the mismanagement and authoritarianism of the regime.

Finally, the EU must continue its engagement for unity and democracy in Iraq and, if necessary, step up our support.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans, namens de Renew-Fractie. – Voorzitter, mijnheer de hoge vertegenwoordiger, dit debat gaat natuurlijk over veel meer dan de uitschakeling van Soleimani. Dit debat moet gaan over hoe Europa – en dan heb ik het ook over de leiders in de Raad – compleet afwezig is in het Midden-Oosten. De terugtrekking van de Amerikanen uit Syrië, de Russen die het overnemen, de uitschakeling van Soleimani: Europa stond erbij en keek ernaar. Wij vernemen telkens via de pers wat onze belangrijkste bondgenoot Amerika uitvreet. We moeten maar raden naar een exacte motivering en de timing. En wanneer er dan lukraak lijnvluchten uit de lucht geschoten worden, dan houdt elke Europese burger terecht zijn hart vast.

Mijnheer Borrell, u heeft het terecht fel opgenomen voor de nucleaire deal met Iran. Iran mag nooit een kernmacht worden en ik wil u dan ook heel hartelijk bedanken voor uw snelle positie-inname. Maar dit volstaat niet. Irak dreigt in een nieuwe chaos verzeild te raken, en IS dreigt opnieuw vrij spel te krijgen in die chaos. Mijnheer Borrell, u bent iemand met het juiste gut instinct. Gebruik dat dus, en zorg ervoor dat Europa één stem, een rol heeft in het Midden-Oosten. Als we niet willen dat de Commissie-Von der Leyen opnieuw het slachtoffer wordt van een grote migratiecrisis, dan moeten we er volop voor gaan. En u zegt: “Ik heb een mandaat gekregen.” Wel, ik zou u heel graag op een vliegtuig willen zien vertrekken richting Teheran, richting Washington, om daar met één stem het Europese standpunt in te nemen, te gáán bemiddelen. Want weet u, de Europese belangen lopen niet samen met de Amerikaanse of de Russische. Als er één iemand is die de Europese belangen moet verdedigen, dan bent u het, dan zijn wij het. Ga ervoor. U heeft onze steun.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun, en nombre del Grupo Verts/ALE. – Señor presidente, señor alto representante. La verdad es que la acción norteamericana asesinando al general Soleimani ha estado a punto de generar un descalabro en toda la región. Ahora, en estos momentos, parece claro, la Administración norteamericana quiere terminar con lo que ha sido una creación europea, que es el acuerdo nuclear con Irán, que es el único que nos permite mantener la región en situación de paz, que no se produzca una escalada nuclear y que, también —quiero recordarlo—, es el marco que nos permite hablar con Irán de derechos humanos. Que todos estamos de acuerdo en que debemos hacerlo, pero también el JCPOA es esencial para ello.

Hemos leído hoy que se ha decidido activar el mecanismo de resolución. Eso puede tener una doble lectura. Algunos probablemente lo han activado porque quieren llevarlo al Consejo de Seguridad y matar el acuerdo. Pero yo creo que debemos intentar utilizarlo como una oportunidad para discutir de todo. Para que Irán cumpla sus compromisos, pero también para hablar de las sanciones reimpuestas, que en estos momentos están dañando de una manera muy importante a la población iraní y poniendo en jaque el acuerdo político.

Por lo tanto, le apremio ⸻como sé que está haciendo⸻ a que el acuerdo sea defendido con uñas y dientes, porque es nuestra vecindad la que está en juego.

 
  
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  Jérôme Rivière, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, la communauté internationale s’inquiète légitimement de la récente hausse des tensions en Iraq et dans la région après l’attaque de l’ambassade américaine à Bagdad, la frappe américaine qui a tué le général Soleimani et la mort tragique de 176 passagers étrangers au conflit tués par un missile iranien.

Dans cette période de tensions qui nous rappelle combien le fondamentalisme islamiste, qu’il soit sunnite ou chiite, menace la stabilité du monde, l’Union européenne a montré son inutilité en matière de diplomatie, comme d’ailleurs en matière de défense, et c’est normal. En effet, c’est aux nations qu’il appartient de conduire une politique étrangère au service des intérêts de leurs citoyens.

Si je me réjouis par ailleurs que la voix du Parlement européen n’ait pas été entendue – surtout quand on lit le message de la présidente de la sous-commission sécurité et défense, exonérant l’Iran de sa responsabilité dans la mort des passagers du vol vers l’Ukraine –, je regrette que celle de la France n’ait pas été entendue. La voix de la France aurait dû rappeler les trois axes fondamentaux de notre diplomatie comme puissance d’équilibre et de médiation: le respect de l’intégrité territoriale des États, la lutte contre le fondamentalisme islamiste, qu’il soit chiite ou sunnite – et cette lutte est plus large que de combattre le terrorisme–, et enfin le soutien aux des minorités chrétiennes et leur protection dans cette région, ces communautés servant de véritables ponts civilisationnels avec nous.

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, in addressing the High Representative / Vice-President, let me start from another point. The freezing of funds, a result of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), did not improve the lives of ordinary people. Kleptocracy and military build-up prevailed; thus mass demonstrations and a brutal crack-down on protesting Iranians. There were also matters of concern: meddling in the region, financing of terrorism and support of terrorist organisations, and the development of the ballistic missiles programme, not to mention the recent testing of this in terms of middle-range missiles shot on an anti-Daesh basis and the downing of the Ukrainian airplane.

Despite all of this, I also, like yourself, High Representative, hope for de-escalation and I think that triggering the mechanism is the least you can do, and we can do, the least of all things. I hope that we have our other tools as well.

 
  
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  Cornelia Ernst, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. Herr Präsident! Ich möchte im Grunde heute nur eines sagen: Die Menschen in beiden Ländern sind nicht nur unzufrieden mit ihren Regierungen, weil die wirtschaftliche und soziale Lage so schwierig ist, brutale Gewalt gegen Demonstranten angewendet wird und sie auch Angst vor neuen Kriegen haben. Nein, die Menschen haben auch gewissermaßen die Nase voll vom Dirigismus des Westens, und wenn man das mal insgesamt hochrechnet seit ungefähr einem Jahrhundert, führt das dazu, dass Stabilität und Selbstbestimmung der Völker in diesen Ländern verhindert werden – erst aus kolonialen Gründen, später aus strategischer Einflussnahme, und was heute ansteht, wissen wir alle selbst.

America First, das ist, glaube ich, nicht erst eine Erfindung von Donald Trump, das kennen wir schon seit Langem. Und ich finde, es wird Zeit, auf die Menschen zu hören, die dort in diesen beiden Ländern leben, sie zu respektieren und nicht politische Morde zu begehen und verlogene Solidaritätstweets auf Persisch zu versenden. Ehrliches Mitgefühl sieht wirklich anders aus.

Wenn nun das irakische Parlament beispielsweise verlangt, dass ausländische Truppen abgezogen werden sollen, dann ist das ein Ruf nach Unabhängigkeit und danach, endlich die Geschicke in die eigenen Hände zu nehmen. Dafür sollten wir Unterstützung gewähren.

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, καταδικάζουμε την επίθεση των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών στο Ιράκ, με θύματα, μεταξύ άλλων, Ιρανούς και Ιρακινούς στρατιωτικούς. Καταγγέλλουμε το σχέδιο το Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών να κηρυχθεί η Μέση Ανατολή επικράτεια του ΝΑΤΟ. Η επικίνδυνη εμπλοκή της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, στο πλαίσιο κλιμάκωσης των ανταγωνισμών για έλεγχο της ενέργειας, έχει ως στόχο να επωφεληθεί η ίδια. Επικαλείται τα ίδια προκλητικά προσχήματα δικαιολόγησης πολέμων, όπως στη Γιουγκοσλαβία, στη Συρία, στο Ιράκ, στη Λιβύη και στο Αφγανιστάν, που καταδικάζουν τους λαούς σε προσφυγιά και δυστυχία. Εκφράζουμε την αλληλεγγύη μας στις οικογένειες των θυμάτων της αεροπορικής τραγωδίας με το ουκρανικό αεροπλάνο, για την οποία έχει τεράστια ευθύνη η ιρανική κυβέρνηση. Τονίζουμε ότι η απροκάλυπτη στήριξη της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης στην πολιτική των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών και η διαχρονική τεράστια ευθύνη όλων των ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων που έχουν μετατρέψει την Ελλάδα σε αμερικανο-νατοϊκό στρατόπεδο θέτουν τον ελληνικό λαό σε μεγάλο κίνδυνο. Να ενταθεί λοιπόν η λαϊκή πάλη για να ακυρωθεί η επικείμενη συμφωνία Ελλάδας-Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, για να κλείσει τώρα η βάση της Σούδας και όλες οι βάσεις.

 
  
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  Sara Skyttedal (PPE). – Mr President, Qasem Soleimani was, in every sense of the word, a terrorist and I believe no one at this plenary is mourning. However, it is hard to fully comprehend the potential consequences of the strike. The responses during the upcoming weeks and months will determine which direction this already fragile region will take in the near future.

Prior to the strikes, protesters from Beirut to Baghdad filled the streets due to their frustration with the Iranian Islamist regime meddling in their internal affairs, wishing that they could determine their own nation’s destiny. Iraq remains the country most affected by Iranian meddling and it needs our support. Mostly, it needs stability through sovereignty, and as the Chair of the Delegation to Iraq, I would ask you, Mr Borrell, to provide us with details on future EU initiatives regarding Iraq and on how the External Action Service intends to proceed with our current commitments in the region.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señor presidente, gracias, señor alto representante, por sus palabras, que yo y mi grupo compartimos plenamente. Es evidente que hay que reducir la tensión en la región, que el asesinato del general Soleimani ha podido tener consecuencias mucho peores de las que hemos visto. Hay que tratar de mantener —como la Unión Europea está intentando— el acuerdo nuclear, que es fundamental para nuestra seguridad. Quizás, en esa perspectiva, habría que tratar de hacer operativo el mecanismo del Instex para poder comerciar con Irán más allá de las sanciones extraterritoriales de los Estados Unidos. La activación del mecanismo de resolución de controversias es lógica en el marco de los incumplimientos y de los anuncios de futuros incumplimientos, pero, en todo caso, no podemos olvidar tampoco que Irán es un régimen autoritario, que ha asesinado a manifestantes y que financia y patrocina milicias en países como Irak, Líbano, Siria y Yemen. Deben (palabras inaudibles) también a Irán para que cese estas conductas.

 
  
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  Martin Horwood (Renew). – Mr President, I thank Mr Borrell for his statement and echo his words on all the recent lives lost, including those on Flight 752. The E3 initiation of the JCPOA dispute process deserves cautious welcome. Rules-based diplomacy is always better than random insults and threats on Twitter. But was the EU consulted beforehand on this important initiative by three of its own Member States?

Can I check that the British Government, in particular, did not play Brexit with Middle East peace by blocking higher level EU involvement? You cannot trust the current British Government to stand up to Trump’s dangerously unpredictable approach to this region, so desperate are they for a US trade deal. Indeed our clueless Prime Minister has just called for the replacement of the current Iran peace deal with a Trump deal, contradicting his own Foreign Secretary, who says the UK is still committed to the JCPOA.

I hope we all are, and that the EU will now play a more active role in de-escalating tensions and particularly encouraging understanding on all sides of the need for parliamentarians and protesters in both Iran and Iraq to have their say, without fear of disproportionate reprisals and response.

 
  
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  Hannah Neumann (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, the EU should use the dispute resolution mechanism to save the Iran deal, and we urgently need to step up our efforts: mediate between the USA and Iran, include other regional actors and help to further de—escalate the situation. This has been addressed already, so let me add another important aspect. The killing of Soleimani threatened to overshadow the voices of those protesters who had been calling for political reforms in both Iran and Iraq for months. But since Friday, they are back in the streets, despite mounting threats, again and they are even louder. And I also want to see EU action on this – to protect them from violence and killing, to fill the void that a withdrawal of US forces would leave in Iraq and to use all diplomatic ways to send a clear message to the Iranian regime. Yes, we need to deal with the big power politics, but there will never be peace in the region if the voices of those in the streets are silenced once more.

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID). – Mr President, first of all I want to thank the previous speaker because she told us very serious things, but they are true. We have to understand that the Islamic regime has been very totalitarian and hardly Islamic for the last 40 years, so we have tried to negotiate with Iran for several years to protect human rights, rule of law, all our values that we are promoting all the time, but as we have seen it is not very successful. And now, if the Americans have eliminated one of the leading guys from Iran who was responsible for paying for terrorist organisations, for murders, for attacks in Israel, in Yemen and Lebanon, I’m hearing a lot of Europeans saying, ‘Oh, it is unacceptable, we have to punish the Americans for that’.

We have to remember that the Americans in this case are our allies, so in this case there is a very simple question: do we show up to support the Americans, to hold stability? And in the first week we see it has been successful because Iran has been afraid of America. We should support them more.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL), blue-card question. – So I would like to ask you, when there is no state of war, killing somebody – an official of one country in another country – is against international law. Are you in favour of respecting international law or not?

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID), blue-card answer.(Start of speech off mic) […] Is it against foreign international law if you eliminate one of the leading terrorists? Is it really breaking international law? I don’t think so. In Baghdad there were attacks against the US embassy. That is an attack against a country and Iran has never said that they were not responsible for these attacks. So if I speak now about international law, I would say that they were exactly following international law, protecting their own country in Baghdad where they were allowed to be.

 
  
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  Assita Kanko (ECR). – Mr President, the Iran crisis is the first test of the new geopolitical Commission. The jury is out on whether it has passed. We all agree that General Soleimani will be missed as much as toothache. His death came after years of brutal action and weeks of Iranian escalation. However, since his death, the United States has probably avoided a war through chance rather than through strategy.

The EU was right to seek de—escalation and to push the Iranian response to be limited. Unfortunately, 176 innocent people became victims of this situation.

The EU’s role right now is critical. While Europe’s actions must never be driven by Iranian intimidation, we should continue to de—escalate, we should get Iran back to the table and prevent its nuclear ambitions and work with Iraq to maintain the anti—ISIS coalition.

We have stepped back from the brink of war but getting everyone around the table will require solid European leadership, and I’m not seeing it right now.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, the crazy decision of the US to carry out the illegal assassination of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and others, is just the most recent testament to the fact that the US is the most reckless, destabilising and dangerous political and military force on the planet at the moment.

The US and their allies claim to be fighting a war on terror whenever they drop bombs and kill people. Here they have taken out some of the people who have done more to fight ISIS than anyone else that we know. They have been asked to get out of Iraq, are they going to get out of it? Are they going to recognise the democratic decision? They claim to have brought democracy to Iraq; are they going to respect it now?

Commissioner, do you not agree that this region will be a safer place when the Americans are not in it? You talk about Iran not respecting the nuclear agreements; do you ever ask any questions of Israel? What in God’s name, why won’t Europe show a bit of courage and stand up to the terrorism of America?

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il nuovo anno si è aperto con una crisi dai risvolti potenzialmente drammatici.

L'uccisione mirata, da parte del Pentagono, del generale Soleimani, alto ufficiale iraniano e probabile erede dell'ayatollah Khomeini, è stata un'azione unilaterale, irresponsabile e illecita dal punto di vista del diritto internazionale, peraltro attuatasi all'interno del territorio di uno Stato terzo, l'Iraq.

Ciononostante pensare che dietro l'azione di Trump non ci sia una ben definita strategia è tanto erroneo quanto ingenuo: si tratta di una strategia muscolare, spregiudicata, basata sui rapporti di forza e quindi finalizzata a soddisfare gli obiettivi strategici americani.

Quale può essere il nostro ruolo europeo di fronte a un'agenda che conta di piegare il governo iraniano tramite azioni di forza mirate e un uso massiccio di sanzioni economiche, che stanno mettendo in ginocchio la popolazione iraniana?

Vista la risposta militare ponderata di Teheran abbiamo di fronte a noi un importante spiraglio negoziale. Credo che come Unione sia necessario rispondere positivamente all'apertura del ministro Zarif, assurgendo al ruolo di mediatori in modo chiaro, trasparente ed equilibrato, campioni del multilateralismo ripartendo dall'accordo sul nucleare per ampliarlo e, se necessario, difenderne fortemente l'essenza.

 
  
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  Radosław Sikorski (PPE). – Mr President, I rather side with those who think that the United States was within its rights to eliminate General Soleimani, who was an unashamed organiser of terror all over the region for many years. In fact, General Soleimani is the embodiment of the problem that we have with Iran, namely that it is both a country and a cause; a cause of spreading the 20th century’s third utopia, which is to say theocracy.

This is the problem that we have with Iran: while we sometimes have to deal with the regime, its nature prevents Iran from becoming like a normal responsible stakeholder.

The Iranian people are protesting again, they would like to live in a normal country. Yes, we should do whatever we can to help, but we should not exaggerate what we can do for them. Because there is very little we can do, particularly when we act on a national basis.

This is a high-stakes game. In the short term at least, it looks like President Trump has prevailed, but it needs a united approach from all of Europe and a loyal support for you, High Representative, of the Member States.

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Mr President, over the past two years we have seen Iran and the US climb up a very dangerous ladder of escalation that has led to the killing of Soleimani and the downing by Iran of the Ukrainian airliner.

I want to make two points here. First, no one can deny that Soleimani played a hugely destructive role in the region and, indeed, had the blood of innocent people on his hands. And second, I do believe that Europe needs a US that is fully engaged in international affairs and is ready to take on tyrants and bullies on the global scene.

However, I believe it is also absolutely critical that the US play that global role in a responsible manner fully consistent with international law and international norms. Moreover, when it takes action that is bound to have such monumental consequences, these actions had better be part of a comprehensive and realistic strategy.

Another violent conflict spiralling out of control in a region that is already turbulent and unstable is the very last thing we need. We as the EU need to fully use what few levers we have at our disposal to de-escalate this extremely explosive situation. And we should put our confidence in the efforts of the High Representative to work towards that end, including by trying to keep the JCPOA alive.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: DITA CHARANZOVÁ
místopředsedkyně

 
  
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  Nathalie Loiseau (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, depuis des décennies, l’Iran est au cœur des crises du Moyen-Orient, mais depuis quelques mois, la tension s’est considérablement aggravée et on voit mal quel est le chemin d’une sortie de crise.

Face à un régime iranien qui semble surtout préoccupé par sa survie, quel qu’en soit le prix, la politique américaine de pression maximale n’a pas rendu la région plus sûre. L’accord de Vienne se défait, la guerre au Yémen se poursuit, le mécontentement des peuples en Iraq comme en Iran se heurte à une répression brutale, le Liban est dans la tourmente. Il est temps de revenir à la diplomatie. Il est temps que l’Europe fasse entendre sa voix, la voix de la raison, et qu’elle rappelle quelles sont ses priorités: la non-prolifération nucléaire et la lutte contre Daech, qui sont les laissées pour compte de la crise actuelle.

Ces priorités, nous les partageons tous, alors agissons et cessons d’observer impuissants une poudrière à nos portes. Nous comptons sur vous, Monsieur le Haut représentant.

 
  
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  Catherine Rowett (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, as Aristotle recognised, we can be blamed only for what is up to us. But what exactly is up to us? The unfolding situation in Iran invites us to reflect on this puzzle.

Once again, Ukraine finds itself the tragic recipient of collateral damage that was hardly foreseeable, but how enthusiastically should we side with the citizens of Iran challenging their regime and its military and holding them responsible for targeting a passenger plane?

For sure, human error might seem like a partial excuse, but equally, human error could, and should, have been foreseen and precautions taken. On the other hand, some actions are neither accidental nor excusable, and where aggression precedes self-defence we should not hesitate to apportion blame, especially if the perpetrator was once our ally.

The obligation for de-escalating a crisis must fall to the aggressor and not just to those tempted to retaliate.

 
  
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  Thierry Mariani (ID). – Madame la Présidente, je n’ai aucune sympathie particulière pour le régime iraquien renversé en 2003, ni pour le régime iranien d’aujourd’hui, mais il est évident que l’Occident porte aujourd’hui une terrible responsabilité dans le chaos que les États-Unis, avec le soutien de la majorité des pays européens, ont déclenché en renversant en 2003 le régime iraquien, en invoquant ce que l’on n’appelait pas encore à l’époque les fake news, des prétendues armes de destruction massive. Il est évident qu’aujourd’hui, en ayant dénoncé l’accord nucléaire avec l’Iran, alors que rien ne prouvait que cet accord n’était pas respecté, les États-Unis ont ouvert une nouvelle période d’incertitude. Dans cette nouvelle période d’incertitude, l’Europe se révèle une fois de plus incapable de mener une politique indépendante. Comment demander à l’Iran de respecter ses obligations de l’accord de Vienne, alors que les sanctions pèsent toujours sur ce pays et durement sur sa population?

Si vous voulez la désescalade, alors mettons en place un vrai système qui permette à l’Europe de commercer avec ce pays et de détourner les sanctions. Si vous voulez la désescalade, alors que les États-Unis respectent le vote du Parlement iraquien et se retirent de ce territoire.

Il y a pire que la dictature, il y a l’anarchie: c’est ce que nous avons installé dans cette région. Nous en payons aujourd’hui le prix en récoltant le terrorisme islamiste.

 
  
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  Jan Zahradil (ECR). – Paní předsedající, vidíme Íránce protestovat proti teokratické diktatuře, která vraždí vlastní lidi, stejně jako jsme viděli předchozí generace Íránců protestovat proti diktatuře někdejšího šáha. My toto volání po svobodě musíme slyšet. A vidíme také režim ajatolláhů, který usiluje o regionální hegemonii, o převrácení mocenské rovnováhy v celém regionu, o vytvoření koridoru z Teheránu až po Středozemní moře ovládnutím Iráku, Sýrie i Libanonu. Generál Sulejmání byl vojenskou tváří této strategie. A tyto ambice Íránu ohrožují samu bezpečnost Evropy. Je na čase učinit tomu přítrž, je na čase opustit politiku appeasementu, je na čase opustit politiku paní Mogheriniové, je na čase vůči Íránu přitvrdit a odkázat jej do patřičných mezí.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, el asesinato político del general Soleimani por parte de los Estados Unidos ha provocado una espiral de violencia, no solo en Irán e Irak sino en toda la región, y ha dado inicio a lo que podríamos denominar un nuevo tipo de guerra fría, incluidas esas guerras proxy que algunas potencias mundiales están dispuestas a jugar también en la zona.

Queremos instar a la Comisión y a este Parlamento a apoyar y facilitar con recursos el diálogo y la recuperación económica de la zona por medio de un programa de asistencia y queremos insistir en que hay que huir de las llamadas al embargo, que históricamente solo han servido para castigar a los sectores sociales más desprotegidos, y, además, pensamos que hay que promover la actividad económica con Irak y los países de la zona.

Hay que urgir a los Estados Unidos y a los países europeos que también tienen tropas en Irak a que se retiren, tal y como ha exigido el Parlamento iraquí, y pedir respeto a la legalidad internacional, flagrantemente violada con el asesinato del general Soleimani.

Este proceso de despegue económico y democrático de la zona que nombraba se deberá hacer sin injerencias externas y respetando los derechos humanos y esto ⸻pensamos⸻ exige acabar con todo tipo de intervencionismo, estadounidense pero también europeo.

(El orador acepta responder a una pregunta formulada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul» (artículo 171, apartado 8, del Reglamento interno)).

 
  
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  Isabel Benjumea Benjumea (PPE), pregunta de «tarjeta azul». – Señora presidenta, el señor Barrena, aquí sentado, es un señor que fue condenado por la Audiencia Nacional en el año 2016 por pertenencia a la banda terrorista ETA, una banda que acabó con la vida de más de ochocientas personas en España, y que tiene trescientos crímenes todavía sin resolver. Yo le pregunto al señor Barrena si él condena o no el terrorismo de ETA, si condena la violencia de ETA, violencia de la que él fue protagonista también. Le pregunto ante este Parlamento si la condena o no. Y además quiero decir que el señor Barrena es miembro del partido Bildu, que ha hecho posible la investidura de Sánchez en España.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Señora Benjumea, le escucho hablar y parecería que nada ha cambiado en el País Vasco en los últimos diez años.

ETA ya no existe, no hay violencia política ⸻al menos por la parte vasca⸻ y la sociedad está empeñada en cerrar ese ciclo con el reconocimiento de todas las víctimas y el fin de los encarcelamientos por razones políticas.

Permítame decirle que su posición está muy lejos del entendimiento y la reconciliación.

Todavía usted y su partido se encuentran en posiciones de venganza, y le invito a que aporte positivamente al proceso de paz y normalización política para que esto sea una realidad consolidada, como desea la sociedad vasca en su conjunto.

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća.

zadnji događaji u Iranu i Iraku pokazuju svu bahatost, svu aroganciju američke vanjske politike.

Arogantno je napasti generala zemlje s kojom niste u ratu. Arogantno je napasti ga u trećoj zemlji zbog čega je irački parlament dao rezoluciju o odlasku stranih vojnika, doduše neobvezujuću. Arogantno je da su stradali civili, Amerika ne bi odgovarala. Kad je Amerika i za što odgovarala? Arogantno je lagati da se ide u napad zbog neposredne opasnosti od strane Mikea Pompea da bi se već za nekoliko dana ta laž sama demantirala. A zašto je to napravljeno? Zato da se izbjegne rasprava u Kongresu, da se izbjegne rasprava u Kongresu. Također, vjerodostojnost nije jača strana američke vanjske politike, sjetimo se WMD (weapons of mass destruction) i Georgea Busha. Arogancija je osuđivati Europu jer ne želi pomoći u tom napadu.

I konačno, vrhunac arogancije je reći da su kulturna dobra u Iranu legitimne vojne mete. Amerika ima 650 milijardi dolara vojni proračun godišnje i nažalost moraju ga negdje iskoristiti i konstantno biti u ratu.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Madam President, we need to see that Iran and Iraq are part of a broader picture, which is developing in the regions surrounding the EU. We see more totalitarian regimes which are becoming more aggressive or we see more meddling and destabilisation.

We see it in the south in Libya and Syria, in the Middle East in Iran and Iraq, and in the north east next to Russia. Some of those regimes imagine that their power is increasing and that the power of the West in the region is diminishing. That feeling is a temptation for them to become more aggressive.

We also need to see that the US is diminishing its presence in the region and invites NATO and the EU to be more present. Until now, we in the EU are better at speaking about our strategic autonomy than we are able to show the strength of our real strategic autonomy in the neighbourhood of the EU. This is the way to have more instability and chaos in our neighbourhood.

Mr Vice—President, during the hearing procedures in the Committee on Foreign Affairs, you spoke very convincingly, saying that, if the EU wants to be globally significant, it needs to be powerful enough to bring stability to its neighbourhood. It’s time to implement your vision.

 
  
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  Isabel Santos (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, o início deste ano no Médio Oriente ficou marcado pela ação unilateral e irresponsável dos Estados Unidos que redundou na execução extrajudicial do General Soleimani.

Um erro monumental em linha com a denúncia do acordo nuclear com o Irão. Poderíamos perguntar porquê e para quê, mas isso não é o mais urgente.

O abate, aparentemente acidental, pelo Irão do avião ucraniano e os incidentes no Iraque levaram ao crescimento das tensões na região.

Cabe agora à União Europeia o esforço da promoção do diálogo no sentido do desanuviamento das tensões e da defesa dos direitos humanos, exigindo-se que o Irão pare com a repressão contra aqueles que protestam nas suas ruas pedindo reformas.

A delicadeza e a relevância geopolítica do momento não admitem hesitações. Por isso, saúdo a decisão da passada sexta-feira de reforçar o mandato do Alto Representante, bem como a de tentar salvar o acordo nuclear com o Irão.

Este foi um acordo que demorou demasiado tempo a ser posto em prática e que é fundamental para a região e para o mundo. Exige-se da União Europeia a unidade e a determinação necessárias para o defender.

 
  
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  Malik Azmani (Renew). – Madam President, yes, recent events in Iraq and Iran show us how fragile the stability in the world is, and an escalation is never far away. Moreover, we have to realise that the EU must combine its strengths to protect our global interest. We need to speak more with one voice, backed up with serious military capacities.

It’s good that the EU wants to keep the nuclear deal alive, but we also have to warn Iran: the Iranian demonstrators are not to be harmed. As the EU we have to be firm to protect the universal rights of demonstration by Iranian people. And I call upon the High Representative to redouble her efforts in initiating a dialogue between the US and Iran. That’s the only way forward out of this hazardous situation.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I say to the High Representative: let me start with a note of realism: our European hand is weak in this conflict, our role is small. But if we want to take our responsibility seriously we have to stick together, and we have to coordinate well. And the coordination should be in the hands of the Vice—President / High Representative as it is his responsibility.

We want to defend the JCPOA but at the same time, we also must push back very clearly against Iranian aggression in other dimensions of its foreign policy. How can we keep the JCPOA alive? Not if we don’t insist on building the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) and making it functional. And the Commission should join INSTEX and put capital into INSTEX and become a partner.

And the last note that I want to strike here is this: there are many dark clouds, there is one signal of hope and that’s the engagement of Iranian citizens, and just recently also Iraqi citizens. And I think it is our duty as the EU to show effective solidarity with them.

 
  
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  Georg Mayer (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Was wir hier erleben, denke ich, ist doch ein Ego-Schauspiel beider Seiten, und zwar ein gefährliches Ego-Schauspiel – zugegebenermaßen. Beide Seiten verfolgen im Wesentlichen innenpolitische Gründe, warum sie sich benehmen, wie sie sich benehmen. In den USA kritisieren nicht einmal die Demokraten die Tötung dieses vermeintlichen Terroristen. Im Iran wiederum muss das Regime schauen, dass die Menschen auf der Straße ruhig bleiben, und das ist ihm natürlich auf der anderen Seite mit dem Angriff der Amerikaner auch gut gelungen. Das Pech, das die Iraner inzwischen hatten, ist, dass sie vermeintlich unwissentlich und unabsichtlich dieses Passagierflugzeug abgeschossen haben.

Aber was sehen wir? In den USA etwa sieht Trump eine Wahl im November auf sich zukommen, und die Amerikaner lieben diese Art von starker Hand und lieben diese Art von Aktionismus, wenn es gegen Terroristen geht. Das sollten auch wir tun, denn Terroristen sind mit harter Hand zu verfolgen. Das iranische Regime braucht auf der anderen Seite die Solidarität seiner Menschen, denn sonst wird dieses undemokratische Regime nicht mehr lange aufrechterhalten bleiben können.

(Der Redner ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ gemäß Artikel 171 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Herr Mayer! Sie haben gerade im Zusammenhang mit dem Abschuss des ukrainischen Flugzeugs von „Pech“ gesprochen. Sind Sie bereit, sich bei den zivilen Opfern und diesem Haus für diesen Wortgebrauch zu entschuldigen? Man kann einen solchen Akt nicht als Pech bezeichnen, das ist extrem zynisch.

 
  
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  Georg Mayer (ID), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Herr Bütikofer! Sie sollten vielleicht einmal lernen, sinnerfassend zuzuhören. Denn das Pech oder, sagen wir mal, das Unglück, das hat ja Iran behauptet, dass das ein zufälliger Abschuss war. Insofern das Pech. Also bitte instrumentalisieren Sie hier nicht die Opfer für Ihr billiges Klein-Klein.

 
  
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  Beata Kempa (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Sytuacja jest poważna, ale to nie jest tak, że mamy tutaj w Parlamencie krzyczeć o arogancji, o ignorancji, tak jak do tej pory. Ten poziom debaty nie napawa optymizmem. Unia Europejska ma bardzo dużo instrumentów, ma bardzo dużo możliwości, nie tylko dyplomatycznych, ale również możliwości związanych z pomocą nie tylko humanitarną, ale i rozwojową. Ta sytuacja pokazuje, że skupianie się przede wszystkim na Iraku i wołanie o to, aby misje wojskowe, szczególnie NATO i sojuszników, opuściły ten kraj, jest delikatnie mówiąc bardzo nieodpowiedzialne. Ten kraj wymaga pomocy i stabilizacji. Po wojnie z państwem islamskim nadal ta sytuacja jest bardzo trudna. Wiele tutaj w Parlamencie mówiliśmy, jeszcze w poprzedniej kadencji mówiliście Państwo o sytuacji Jezydów i przyjmowaliście rezolucje na ten temat. Sytuacja chrześcijan jest również trudna. W tej sytuacji jeśli są wojska, które rozminowują góry Sindżar, gdzie mają wrócić Jezydzi, mówienie o tym, żeby wycofać te wojska, popieranie tego typu rezolucji, uchwał, jest po prostu nie na miejscu. Myślę także, że jest to wielkie zadanie dla Unii Europejskiej, dlatego że Rosja ma na Bliskim Wschodzie bardzo rozległe wpływy.

 
  
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  Marc Botenga (GUE/NGL). – Madame la Présidente, Donald Trump, le président des États-Unis, fait peur et en premier lieu à nos concitoyens en Europe. Vous rendez-vous compte que sur Twitter, le mot-dièse #troisième guerre mondiale a été une tendance pendant quatre jours? Et vous n’arrivez pas à condamner les actions illégales de ce président américain? Franchement, je ne comprends pas.

En outre, j’entends des appels pour que l’Europe fasse davantage. Vous n’êtes pas sans savoir que les États européens sont intervenus en Iraq, en Afghanistan, en Syrie et en Libye. Vous avez vu le succès que c’est, ou plutôt le désastre que c’est? Vous voulez davantage de cela, davantage de désastre? Soyons un peu sérieux, vous avez vécu sur quelle planète? Si vous voulez vraiment rassurer nos concitoyens, prenons-nous en à l’OTAN, qui nous entraîne dans cette logique guerrière de Trump. Si vous voulez aider les Iraquiens, respectons la décision de leur parlement qui demande que les troupes étrangères quittent le pays. Et finalement, si vous voulez aider les Iraniens, arrêtez les sanctions contre ce pays qui détruisent la santé, l’économie et les droits sociaux de ces populations.

 
  
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  Matthew Patten (NI). – Madam President, before Christmas I told this Parliament that the nuclear agreement with Iran, the JCPOA, was dead and we urgently needed a plan B. Mr Borrell, High Representative, it gives me no pleasure to say this but it is true, and the EU needs to wake up.

The JCPOA is not sustaining peace and security. it is now starting to do the opposite. America has left the agreement, Iran has restarted its uranium centrifuges, Germany, France and the UK have triggered the dispute mechanism, Iran has threatened reprisals against EU Members.

The only way to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran, restore trade, free political prisoners and support human rights is to restore friendships in Washington, not Tehran. As well as turning the centrifuges off and thinking again about human rights, plan B has to include Iran’s agreement to stop supporting its proxy attacks against the US. Then, in return, the EU can do what it does best, namely trade.

The EU needs to recognise that only the US has the resource, the relationships and the firepower to underpin the successful alternative to the JCPOA and peace in the region.

 
  
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  Tomas Tobé (PPE). – Fru talman! Höga representanten! Förra onsdagen sköt Iran ner ett ukrainskt passagerarflygplan. Alla 176 människor ombord omkom. Våra tankar går till offren och deras familjer i denna svåra stund. Sjutton av de omkomna var hemmahörande i mitt hemland Sverige.

Jag förutsätter att EU mer kraftfullt fördömer attacken och ställer krav på att nedskjutningen utreds grundligt med full internationell insyn – i synnerhet från de drabbade länderna – och att de ansvariga ställs inför rätta. De anhöriga har rätt att få veta vad som hände, och de har rätt till kompensation.

Och låt mig dessutom vara tydlig: när nu protesterna mot regimen i Iran sprider sig i landet, behöver EU mer resolut stödja landets demokratiska krafter och reformer.

 
  
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  Jytte Guteland (S&D). – Fru talman! Höga representant! Säkerhetsläget i Iran och Irak förändras från dag till dag, och det står nu och väger mellan allvarlig konflikt och fullskaligt krig.

Relationen mellan USA och Iran är extremt allvarlig, och EU måste inta en tydlig roll för avspänning och utveckla en egen politik gentemot Iran, där vi markerar att det vi vill se är en annan framtid, en fredlig framtid, en framtid där vi står upp för demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter och där vi respekterar kärnavtalet.

Förra veckan sköts ett plan av misstag ner, och 176 människor dog. Det går inte att förneka att det i grunden är den upptrappade konflikten och de ökade spänningarna mellan USA och Iran som är orsaken till den här tragedin. Sjutton av de människor som dog hade anknytning till mitt hemland och var svenskar, däribland ungdomar och barn.

Jag stämmer in i kraven om att vi måste kräva full insyn i utredningen. De medlemsländer som är berörda måste få den insynen. De anhöriga måste få veta exakt vad som har hänt, få rätt till kompensation och veta att vi står på deras sida i den fruktansvärda sorg som har drabbat dem.

 
  
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  Luisa Porritt (Renew). – Madam President, I say to Commissioner Borrell: amid ongoing tensions between Iran, the US and the UK, the EU must step up as a mediator. Any discussions you have with your Iranian counterpart should prioritise the protection of EU citizens.

A number of EU nationals are being held illegally in Iran, including my constituent, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has spent almost four years in prison. Her treatment is part of a pattern of hostage diplomacy by Iran and must be taken seriously. Nazanin’s husband, Richard, is here at Parliament today and tomorrow, and I am urging you to accept my invitation to meet with the two of us. He and the other families of unlawfully detained EU citizens want to see you put their loved ones first.

Human rights cannot simply be a ‘nice to have’, they are non-negotiable. It must be safe to travel, and this has to form part of any current or future agreement worked out with Iran.

 
  
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  Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the Iranian regime has killed peaceful protesters and is supporting violent terrorist groups in its neighbourhood. That is undisputed. Oppressing one’s citizens and funding terror groups cannot come without international consequences.

If history is a guide, the US strategy of regime change – we currently see it unfold – will not, however, change that. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan: the list of failed interventions goes on. Regime change via military action is the worst possible choice. We Europeans must make this clear to our American counterparts. Hellfire missiles do not stabilise regions, diplomatic dialogue and enforceable economic and security agreements do.

Mr Borrell, make this clear to the United States: Europeans will not support military intervention in Iran. We support peaceful protesters and we support economic and security cooperation with Iran, based on human rights and freedoms.

 
  
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  Silvia Sardone (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sulla crisi tra Stati Uniti e Iran e sulle violenze in Iraq l'Europa si è mostrata disunita. A volte ha espresso persino posizioni vicine all'Iran, solo per fare dispetto a Trump.

Siamo arrivati al paradosso: per giorni il generale Soleimani è stato santificato come un eroe anche in Europa, e invece abbiamo assistito a un totale silenzio di fronte all'abbattimento di un aereo civile che ha provocato la morte di 176 persone.

Ricordiamoci che la crisi nasce dall'assalto voluto dall'Iran all'ambasciata USA a Baghdad. Ci dimentichiamo qui le proteste contro il regime iraniano negli ultimi mesi: stiamo parlando di 1 500 morti e più di 10 000 feriti, migliaia di arresti, torture, 100 donne impiccate, accessi a internet censurati, proteste oscurate sui media.

Di fronte a un regime violento che finanzia il terrorismo non abbiamo bisogno di un'Unione europea "modello Mogherini", che due anni fa si è presentata in Iran con il velo da sottomessa senza denunciare la dittatura e l'inferno che ci sono lì. Abbiamo bisogno di posizioni nette, coraggio e ritorno della democrazia!

 
  
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  Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, I would like to say to Mr Borrell: I was a little bit surprised by your speech because you forgot some things: who first withdrew from the nuclear agreement? Mr Trump. Who assassinated Mr Soleimani? Mr Trump. Who is reinforcing, with the assassinations and these actions, the hardliners in Tehran? Mr Trump.

I have the pleasant privilege to come from a country with the only prime minister in the European Union who supported openly the assassination, besides Mr Johnson and of course Mr Netanyahu.

So what I want to say to you is: of course we have to pressure Iran to respect the deal and to give democratic freedoms? But also we have to pressure and criticise the United States, otherwise Mr Trump is taking us for granted, Mr Borrell.

 
  
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  Lukas Mandl (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Vier kurze Gedanken in dieser Minute. Der erste ist: Was unterscheidet die USA und den Iran? Was ist der Iran? Welche Bedeutung hat der Atom-Deal für uns heute? Und was kann die Europäische Union machen?

Die USA sind eine uralte Demokratie, die funktioniert. Der Iran ist ein totalitäres Regime, das sich immer und immer wieder Menschenrechtsverletzungen schuldig macht. Ich bin daher überrascht darüber, dass das auch in diesem Haus von den linken und rechten Populisten gleichgesetzt wird.

Der Iran ist aber auch ein Völkerrechtssubjekt, mit dem wir einen Vertrag haben, den Atom-Deal. Der Atom-Deal ist wichtig, um den Iran daran zu hindern, Atomwaffen zu entwickeln, und gerade jetzt bietet er einen Streitschlichtungsmechanismus, den wir in Anspruch nehmen müssen.

Wir müssen darauf achten, dass die Europäische Union das macht, was der österreichische Außenminister, Alexander Schallenberg, vorgeschlagen hat, nämlich eine Pendeldiplomatie zwischen den USA und dem Iran zu ermöglichen, denn Sprechen ist besser als Schießen. Und Wien bietet sich als Ort für Verhandlungen an. Herr Außenkommissar Borrell, ziehen Sie das in Betracht und stärken Sie die Europäische Union in ihrer Wirksamkeit in dieser Frage für unsere Sicherheit!

 
  
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  Dietmar Köster (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Hauptverantwortlich für die derzeitige Lage im Nahen Osten ist die Ajatollah-Diktatur. Der Qods-Kommandeur Soleimani hat viele Terroranschläge geplant und durchführen lassen. Er war verantwortlich für die gewaltsame Niederschlagung der Proteste mutiger Iranerinnen und Iraner, die im letzten Jahr für Freiheit und Demokratie sowie für eine bessere Sozial- und Wirtschaftspolitik auf die Straßen gegangen waren. Das iranische Regime ist homophob und antisemitisch. Die Vernichtung des Staates Israel ist sein ausdrückliches Ziel. Dem müssen wir als Europäer entschieden entgegentreten.

Die Tötung von Soleimani ist völkerrechtlich fragwürdig und hat die Kriegsgefahr erhöht. Frieden kann nur durch die Beachtung des internationalen Rechts gesichert werden. Jetzt ist die Stunde der Diplomatie. Das Atomabkommen muss gerettet werden. Die Trump-Regierung muss Konflikte multilateral regeln.

Wir stehen an der Seite der Demonstrantinnen und Demonstranten, die für einen säkularen Iran und für Demokratie und Menschenrechte ihr Leben riskieren.

 
  
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  Bernard Guetta (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, avant de nous demander «que faire?», voyons la nouvelle réalité proche-orientale. Le régime iranien est désormais aussi contesté sur son sol qu’au Liban et qu’en Iraq et la tragédie du Boeing ukrainien a parallèlement accru son discrédit jusqu’à l’intérieur de ses frontières. Le recul de cette théocratie affaiblit à son tour le régime syrien et la Russie se retrouve ainsi bien seule au Proche-Orient, à l’heure même où elle se disperse en Libye.

Alors que peut faire l’Europe? Elle ne convaincra ni la Russie, ni l’Iran, ni les États-Unis de changer de cap. Sans défense ni diplomatie communes, elle ne peut pas résoudre cette crise, mais elle doit en revanche faire entendre à chacun qu’il ne faut pas laisser mourir le compromis nucléaire, à Bachar Al-Assad qu’il court à sa perte s’il ne recherche pas un compromis politique, à la Russie qu’à défaut d’œuvrer à un compromis régional, elle finira par s’enliser en Méditerranée.

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Menschen gezielt zu töten, das ist schlichtweg Barbarei. Auch Kulturstätten zu zerstören oder die Androhung davon. Die Tötung von General Soleimani verstößt gegen internationales Recht, und das muss auch noch mal ganz klar gesagt werden. Wir Europäer wurden von Kriegsexperten zu Friedensexperten, auch gerade dank der USA. Und wir wissen in Europa aus Erfahrung: Politik scheitert, wenn sie Werte außen vor lässt. Eine positive, konstruktive Antwort, um das besser zu machen, gibt das Völkerrecht, geben internationale Organisationen, Vereinbarungen und Verträge, gerade auch beim Nahostkonflikt, gerade auch jetzt beim JCPOA, der Atomvereinbarung mit dem Iran.

Was zählt, ist nicht America First und nicht Europe First, was zählt, ist: we all together – gemeinsam und jetzt. Wir haben keine Zeit, längst Gelerntes wieder zu vergessen, wir brauchen peace rooms statt war rooms, wir brauchen eine gemeinsame transatlantische, europäische Politik, eine, die Kraft und Ressourcen bündelt und sich auf gemeinsame Werte besinnt, allermindestens auf gemeinsame Ziele. Bei geostrategischen Fragen, bei Umwelt und Klima, denn bei allem tickt die Uhr, und nur gemeinsam sind wir stark. Das gilt für Europa, für die EU und für die transatlantischen Beziehungen.

(Die Rednerin ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ gemäß Artikel 171 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
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  Eugen Tomac (PPE), Întrebare adresată conform procedurii „cartonașului albastru”. – Doamnă Hahn, ați spus că asasinarea lui Soleimani reprezintă un act barbar. Considerați că este prea puțin pentru a lichida un terorist? Este un terorist, după dumneavoastră, Soleimani sau nu?

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn (Verts/ALE), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Vielen Dank für Ihre Frage. Ich bin der Meinung, dass dieser Akt gegen internationales Recht verstößt. Und ich glaube, dass wir hier im Plenum nicht die Rolle einer Judikative einnehmen sollten; das steht uns hier nicht zu. Das ist etwas, was ich mich in dieser Diskussion heute auch immer gefragt habe. Es verstößt gegen internationales Recht, und das ist ganz klar auch so auszubuchstabieren.

 
  
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  Teuvo Hakkarainen (ID). – Arvoisa puhemies, kiihkoislamistien johtama Iran on alueen suurin uhkatekijä. Iran on vuosien kuluessa levittänyt sotilaitaan, käytännössä sisararmeijoitaan, ympäri Lähi-itää aiheuttaen sekasortoa ja hävitystä. Iranilla on kaksi suurta päämäärää: ydinaseen kehittäminen, josta maa ei ole missään vaiheessa luopunut, ja Israelin lopullinen tuhoaminen. Tästä syystä ydinaseen käyttökynnys on matalin juuri Lähi-idässä.

Israel, Lähi-idän ainoa demokratia, ei varmaankaan jää kädet ristissä odottamaan tuhoaan. Viisainta kaiketi olisi, jos Eurooppa voisi millään lailla olla puuttumatta tämänhetkiseen tilanteeseen. Se ei vain taida olla mahdollista. Kun öljy joskus loppuu noilta alueilta, edessä on siirtyminen kamelikauteen.

 
  
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  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Madam President, during the first week of the new year we all experienced an unexpected chain of events that strongly increased tensions in the Middle East and far beyond with around 3 000 soldiers from 19 European Member States deployed in Iraq. The events also affect the security of the European Union directly. The situation in Iraq and in Iran is highly worrisome and all peaceful de—escalation efforts should be welcomed.

Therefore, I call upon all parties involved to show restraint and make space for dialogue. Next to encouraging and assisting our partners to open diplomatic channels, it is important for the European Union to protect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and to convince Iran that it is also in their benefit to adhere to this agreement.

Also in our relations with Iraq we should remain stable and productive. After having heavily suffered under the destructive passage of ISIS, the country is being reconstructed. Last year I was there with the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Baghdad and it’s really making me feel sad to see how all the fragile peace is gone. We should help through diplomatic channels and I call upon you, High Representative, to make the utmost effort and to show the European Union as a mediator in this really worrisome situation.

 
  
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  Jackie Jones (S&D). – Madam President, yet again, Donald Trump’s lack of forethought and sketchy understanding of geopolitics has kick—started a dangerous chain of events, following the US air strike which killed General Qasem Soleimani in Iran. Hopes of tensions calming have been dashed by the shooting-down of the Ukrainian passenger plane. And my heart goes out to the families and friends of those who have been killed.

These incidents have ignited a tinderbox, and we’ve now seen days of protests and strong language on all sides, including from the UK’s Prime Minister today. The US should not have withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal.

I certainly disagree with Johnson, who wants to replace it with a Trump deal. This situation is highly dangerous. For the sake of the protection of everyone’s human rights across the globe, but especially those who are the most vulnerable – that always includes women and children – we must try to defuse the situation, and I call on you to do so.

 
  
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  Klemen Grošelj (Renew). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Zaostrovanje med Iranom in ZDA bi lahko ogrozilo ne le regionalno, ampak tudi globalno stabilnost. Ne glede na verjetne ali manj verjetne scenarije krize, bode v oči neopaznost Evropske unije.

Evropska unija mora nujno okrepiti vlogo pri reševanju krize in napore za ohranitev jedrskega sporazuma. Kakršenkoli že bo razplet, bo ta vplival na nas. Ob sicer malo verjetni nadaljnji eskalaciji, bo pomemben del Evropske unije znotraj dosega iranskih raketnih sistemov. Hkrati pa bomo soočeni s povečanim begunskim oziroma migracijskim tokom na zunanjih mejah.

A tudi v primeru popuščanja napetosti, še posebej, ko bodo stekli, posredni ali neposredni pogovori med ZDA in Iranom, mora imeti Evropska unija pri tem ustrezno vlogo. Kakršenkoli dogovor bo imel vpliv na energetsko varnost Evropske unije, zakaj tako ZDA kot Iran želita postati pomembna dobavitelja zemeljskega plina.

Ta pa bo imel pomembno vlogo pri doseganju našega strateškega cilja – do leta 2050 postati brezogljična družba. Zato torej mora Evropska unija postati akter, ki bo odločilno sooblikovala rešitve v tej krizi.

 
  
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  Elena Lizzi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Vicepresidente, l'ondata di instabilità innescata dalla morte del generale Soleimani ha messo in evidenza, ancora una volta, l'inadeguatezza delle politiche estere dell'Unione europea, ridimensionandola a un consorzio di buona volontà, spesso inefficace e poco incisivo nelle situazioni che contano.

Signor Borrell, non riguarda la Sua persona o la Sua professionalità, riguarda il contesto in cui l'Unione europea deve muoversi e quindi il quadro giuridico: l'economia iraniana al collasso, l'ammissione – in ritardo – dell'abbattimento del Boeing ucraino in cui hanno perso la vita 176 persone, il caso diplomatico dell'arresto dell'ambasciatore britannico. Si rischia un'escalation di nuovi scontri e manifestazioni di piazza, con la conseguente reazione violenta del regime.

Dov'è la Commissione geopolitica promessa dalla Presidente von der Leyen? In che modo in questi periodi si è cercato di limitare l'escalation? Abbiamo parlato a novembre di Iraq e Iran. Si continua a invitare ad abbassare i toni, e lo faccio anch'io, all'uso del dialogo e della diplomazia, alla ricerca di una soluzione politica, e lo faccio anch'io. Ma poi non succede nulla e tutto si risolve in una dichiarazione congiunta.

La prima nota della Presidente von der Leyen sulla morte di Soleimani è arrivata solo giorni dopo. L'Unione europea rischia ancora una volta di... (la Presidente toglie la parola all'oratrice)

 
  
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  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Układ nuklearny z Iranem był zwycięstwem cierpliwej dyplomacji, sztuką tego, co możliwe. Wojna, ofiary, zniszczenia to jest zawsze porażka dyplomacji. Ten układ mógł być filarem globalnej strategii nierozprzestrzeniania broni jądrowej zbudowanej wedle prostej zasady, że łatwiej jest zatrzymać czyjeś zbrojenia, niż rozbroić posiadacza bomby atomowej. Ale prezydent Trump, niezrażony doświadczeniem z Koreą Północną, wybrał inną drogę. Tak więc im mniej przewidywalna jest prezydentura Stanów Zjednoczonych, tym większa nasza odpowiedzialność za bezpieczeństwo własne i całego regionu.

Często słyszę, że Iran to jest kraj terrorystów. To jest kraj 80 milionów ludzi. Bardzo młode społeczeństwo, które poznałem w ciągu 5 lat, kiedy przewodniczyłem delegacji Parlamentu Europejskiego ds. Iranu. Ci ludzie chcą żyć własnym życiem, niekoniecznie wedle wskazań ajatollaha. I to jest wielki rezerwuar pokojowej współpracy, który powinien być strategicznym celem naszej dyplomacji.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la de-escalation tra Iran e Stati Uniti dopo l'altissimo livello di tensione per l'uccisione del generale Soleimani è una buona notizia, ma i nodi da sciogliere restano molti.

L'accordo sul nucleare ha rappresentato il maggior risultato della politica estera europea degli ultimi anni, riportando il paese nell'alveo degli interlocutori politici e commerciali dell'Occidente dopo anni di rapporti tesissimi. Trump lo considera morto, ma per noi rimane invece la base dei nostri migliorati rapporti e deve essere rispettato, come Lei giustamente ha ribadito, signor Alto rappresentante, a margine del Consiglio "Affari esteri" straordinario di venerdì.

Al contempo non dimentichiamo il popolo iraniano, che da mesi scende in piazza in prima istanza per via delle difficili condizioni economiche, anche per le sanzioni americane, e che finora ha incontrato una dura repressione. Gli eventi dei giorni scorsi, compresa la tremenda vicenda dell'aereo abbattuto, hanno ulteriormente aggravato la situazione.

Teheran cessi dunque le violenze e ascolti le istanze del suo popolo verso un cammino di democratizzazione e di tutela dei diritti umani, che auspichiamo e che è parte del nostro dialogo con le autorità iraniane.

 
  
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  Anna Bonfrisco (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, egregio Alto rappresentante, un desiderio si agita nel cuore degli iraniani e degli iracheni, che prescinde dalle differenze di etnia e di religione e dai loro deprecabili governi autoritari:

prende il nome di sicurezza, di benessere, di pace, e a gridarlo sono le voci delle proteste come quelle iraniane che, già da novembre, spesso nell'indifferenza di tanti di noi e della comunità internazionale, hanno provocato centinaia e centinaia di morti.

È il più alto livello di scontro dal 1979, ed è questo lo Stato di diritto che noi intendiamo difendere? E quel miliardo e più di euro, direttamente provenienti dall'Europa, che hanno cercato di sostenere umanitariamente queste persone, dove sono finiti se non nelle mani di governi che sono marionette di Teheran?

Perché forse presto capiremo che l'eliminazione di Soleimani, il più grande leader del fondamentalismo islamico, servirà a liberare chi combatte per la libertà e noi dovremmo ringraziare, signor Alto rappresentante, chi ci ha liberato dal più grande terrorista del mondo, contro Israele e contro di noi, ... (la Presidente toglie la parola all'oratrice)

 
  
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  Pierfrancesco Majorino (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quanto è accaduto in Iraq e in Iran è grave, preoccupante e pericoloso.

Come Unione europea dobbiamo essere uniti e determinati e per questo alcune cose vanno dette con grande chiarezza. L'uccisione del generale Soleimani da parte degli Stati Uniti è stata un atto folle, da condannare, un atto spregiudicato, che rafforza i nemici della democrazia.

Oggi quello che noi non dobbiamo fare, l'errore che non dobbiamo compiere, è gettare l'accordo sul nucleare. Esso, ancor più di prima, è importante, come ha sottolineato l'Alto rappresentante: per noi è un vero e proprio banco di prova.

Infine, sia in Iraq che in Iran c'è una società civile che chiede trasparenza e sviluppo democratico. Dobbiamo ripartire dal sostegno a quelle donne e a quegli uomini per sostenere la via diplomatica e politica e per evitare un'escalation ancora non scongiurata.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća,

prije svega želim izraziti sućut obiteljima žrtava stradalih u rušenju ukrajinskog putničkog aviona u Iranu. Tragičan je to podsjetnik kako izolirani incidenti mogu ugroziti opću sigurnost.

Podržavam potpuni pristup istrazi istražiteljima svih zemalja čiji su državljani žrtve ove tragedije. Temeljna poruka treba biti poziv na deeskalaciju sukoba i suzdržavanje od jednostranih akcija jer imaju multiplicirajući utjecaj na regionalnu, ali i na globalnu sigurnost. Ubojstvo generala Soleimanija, bez obzira na njegovo djelovanje povezano sa zločinima s brojnim žrtvama, otvorilo je Pandorinu kutiju s nesagledivim posljedicama. Nadolazeći izbori u Iranu i SAD-u nažalost predstavljaju dodatni izazov. Nadam se da najnoviji prijepor o povlačenju američkih trupa iz Iraka neće izazvati nove sukobe i žrtve. Jednako tako, puna podrška iranskom nuklearnom sporazumu podrazumijeva realizaciju preuzetih obveza, uključujući INSTEX, posebice u kontekstu humanitarne trgovine. Europska unija treba proaktivnu politiku, predlaganje diplomatskih rješenja koja za cilj moraju imati iransko poštovanje nuklearnog sporazuma. Tako se zaista doprinosi očuvanju mira i promicanju sigurnosti. Iran svakako treba zaustaviti nasilje nad prosvjednicima o čemu svjedočimo zadnjih dana.

Zaključno, držim kako je vrijeme da u narednim zasjedanjima raspravimo i transatlantsku suradnju u značajno izmijenjenim okolnostima. To je neizostavan dio formule za globalnu sigurnost i mir.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Milan Zver (PPE). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Že leta spremljam prizadevanja iranske opozicije, njen boj za demokracijo in pa svobodo. Tudi v Evropskem parlamentu smo jim večkrat zadnja leta namenili nekaj pozornosti, vendar visoka služba Evropske unije za varnostno in zunanjo politiko ima nekoliko drugačen odnos do njih.

Jaz sem prepričan, da bi morala Evropska unija bolj se jasno postaviti na stran evro-atlantskega zavezništva, ne pa da poskuša nekako posredovati med ZDA in pa Iranom, med državo demokracije in svobode in na drugi strani državo, ki je lani v protestih ubila 1.500 ljudi, 12.000 jih je zaprla, zadnje dni je prav tako zelo nasilna proti protestnikom, medtem je še napadla ameriška oporišča, sesula ukrajinsko letalo in tako naprej.

Tukaj nimamo kaj izbirati ali biti posrednik med dvema akterjema, ampak pozivam gospoda Borella, da Evropska unija redefinira odnos do Irana.

 
  
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  Robert Hajšel (S&D). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, našou snahou teraz naozaj musí byť upokojiť situáciu a prispieť k tomu, aby sa znížilo napätie, ktoré eskalovalo jednostranným, povedal by som selektívnym a asi nerozumným zabitím iránskeho generála Sulejmáního – o ktorom si môžeme myslieť, čo chceme, ale určite to neprispelo k upokojeniu situácie, ale naopak, čomu dáva za pravdu nasledujúci vývoj, ktorý nastal po tomto jednostrannom akte. My musíme byť schopní povedať Spojeným štátom aj kritické slová, sú náš spojenec v rámci NATO, ale musíme sa správať ako partneri, ako kredibilní, aby sme si zachovali svoju kredibilitu aj voči iným krajinám. Teraz ide naozaj o to, aby sme vynaložili všetko naše úsilie, naše schopnosti aj naše dobré vzťahy jednak aj s Američanmi, ale aj do istej miery dobré vzťahy v rámci možností s Iránom, aby sme zachovali jadrovú zmluvu, lebo jej ohrozenie by ohrozilo aj nás, a nejaké ďalšie vyostrovanie napätia v tejto oblasti, prípadne vojenský konflikt, by určite spôsobili ďalší influx migrantov a ľudí, ktorí boli presídlení, a porušovanie ľudských práv.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (Renew). – Madam President, the Iranian regime deserves a full range of sanctions for its bloody actions against its own people who went into the streets to protest, as well as for a war crime which led towards the shooting down of the Ukrainian civil aircraft.

The EU should apply effectively a full range of sanctions against the Iranian regime and provide support to the country’s civil society and opposition. Staying silent and inactive, we will promote the Iranian regime to commit further crimes and bring more instability to the region. Let’s admit some mistakes the EU made towards Iran in once having too optimistic expectations and exercise a more comprehensive policy line.

 
  
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  Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL). – Paní předsedající, musíme si zde na půdě Evropského parlamentu uvědomit, že mezinárodní politika není o fandění ve fotbalovém zápase. Nemusíme mít svého favorita, kterému budeme tolerovat všechny fauly, a na jeho protivníka opovržlivě pískat. Pokud ctíme v prvé řadě pravidla, respektive mezinárodní právo, musíme všem měřit stejným metrem. Nesmíme se bát kritizovat kohokoliv, kdo pravidla poruší. USA svými nedávnými činy v Iráku jasně porušilo mezinárodní právo. To je neoddiskutovatelné. Íránské sestřelení letadla je taktéž obrovským faulem, který je třeba odsoudit.

My zde na půdě Evropského parlamentu nemáme za úkol milovat USA či bránit Írán. My máme za úkol se jasně vymezit proti porušování mezinárodního práva. Rok 2020 nezačal dobře, a pokud nebude obnovena důvěra ve fungování a platnost mezinárodního práva, nemusí ani dobře skončit. Ano, kolegové, jsme na křižovatce, ale nikoliv mezi USA a Íránem, ale mezi mezinárodním právem a chaosem. Vyberme si.

 
  
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  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, prvom rade by som sa chcel sťažovať vedeniu Parlamentu, že nám zakázali mať v pléne vlajočky, s bizarným vysvetlením, že sa jedná o bannery. Toto je naozaj nehoráznosť.

No a čo sa týka Iránu, objektívne treba uznať, že jadrová dohoda, s ktorou Irán súhlasil, je dobrým výsledkom európskej diplomacie, ale rozhodne treba tiež povedať, že za všetko zlo, ktoré sa na Blízkom alebo Strednom východe deje, môže agresívna politika Spojených štátov amerických, ktoré už teraz úplne otvorene ignorujú medzinárodné právo, páchajú teroristické útoky na vybraných činiteľov druhých cudzích štátov.

Žiadam, aby Európska únia odsúdila tento americký teroristický útok, rovnako ako odsudzuje všetky ostatné teroristické útoky iných krajín, a aby sa držala čo najďalej od týchto nebezpečných krvavých dobrodružstiev Spojených štátov.

 
  
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  Traian Băsescu (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, cu privire la disputa iraniano-americană, trebuie să plecăm de la adevăr. Adevărul este că generalul Soleimani a fost unul dintre organizatorii atacului împotriva ambasadei de la Teheran și a fost executat pe teritoriu irakian, acolo unde a produs actul terorist.

În ceea ce ne privește, este un curent general că trebuie să facem orice pentru a menține Acordul nuclear. Vreau să exprim punctul meu de vedere: Iranul nu va respecta Acordul nuclear, iar noi vom rămâne solidari cu o putere teroristă de la Teheran.

Mizăm pe solidaritatea noastră. Nu știu dacă vom reuși să rămânem solidari până la sfârșit, în condițiile în care un guvern terorist este partenerul nostru în acest Acord nuclear.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, alto representante Borrell, las 176 víctimas mortales del avión derribado por un misil tierra-aire iraní la semana pasada son el corolario trágico de una espiral de acción-reacción. La tragedia solo empeora cuando sabemos que las autoridades iraníes reconocen la verdad después de que el primer ministro canadiense la haya hecho pública, conforme a sus propios servicios de inteligencia. Pero puede empeorar todavía más. Dieciocho víctimas mortales eran europeos, decenas eran canadienses, pero la mayoría eran iraníes, de modo que estamos ante la probabilidad cierta de que haya manifestaciones iraníes reprimidas duramente con centenares de muertos, como hemos visto en los últimos meses, y exclusión de internet. Y aún más: la amenaza de cancelar definitivamente el acuerdo nuclear de 2015. No nos lo podemos permitir ante el riesgo de una guerra inminente en la región. Por eso, lo que podemos hacer desde el Parlamento Europeo es apoyar los esfuerzos diplomáticos —que usted dirige— de la diplomacia europea, para que la Unión Europea haga cuanto pueda hacer —y ni un segundo más tarde lo haga— para evitarlo.

 
  
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  Александър Александров Йорданов (PPE). – Г-жо Председател, г-н Борел, ако разумният подход не успее, ако деескалацията не успее, имаме ли визия за действие? Време е, очевидно, да подготвим и план Б.

Не е достатъчно да се изрази съболезнование за загиналите след престъпната атака срещу украинския самолет. Трябва да заявим на този авторитарен и терористичен режим, че ако продължава своята агресивна политика в региона, ще има и друг отговор, ще има нова Пустинна буря. Не е ли парадокс, че самите иранци реагират по-остро срещу режима на аятоласите, отколкото това правим ние?

Време е да подкрепим хората, които протестират срещу този режим. И още нещо, колеги: антиамериканизмът, който и в тази зала прозвуча в определен смисъл, не е само заплаха за САЩ, той е заплаха и за нас, за Европа. И в тази ситуация ние трябва да бъдем заедно със Съединените щати.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vice-président de la Commission et haut représentant de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité. – Madame la Présidente, cela a été tout un ensemble de points de vue, tous très intéressants mais très différents. S’il fallait que je décrive à quelqu’un la position du Parlement après vous avoir écoutés, je ne saurais pas l’exprimer parce que ça va du blanc-blanc au noir-noir, et les points de vue sont très différents à propos d’une crise qui est très dangereuse pour nous tous, vous en avez tous convenu.

D’abord, je voulais vous dire que personne n’a abandonné l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien.

Nobody has abandoned it. It’s not me who believes that the JCPOA is essential for our security and has to be kept; it’s the Foreign Affairs Council and it is also the three Ministers of the E3 who share this point of view.

I know that there is a certain contradiction between the letter that I received signed by the Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom saying something which looks quite different from the letter I have read, but what counts for me is the letter, which is an official document which has to follow my action. The British Minister says that the action they are proposing is not to abandon the deal and substitute the Obama deal with the Trump deal. It says that they want to keep the deal alive and what they want is to use this mechanism, this process, in order to have leverage in regard to Iran.

No, nobody has abandoned the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency continues to monitor and inspect Iran’s nuclear activities, and let’s not forget that the JCPOA is embodied in a United Nations Security Council resolution. It’s not something that we Europeans wrote one night here together. It took 10 years to reach this deal and it was approved by a United Nations resolution, which nobody has cancelled. It is still alive. So don’t blame me and say, ‘Mr Borrell, you have to change your mind’. I’m coming here to explain not my mind – that too – but mainly what the Foreign Affairs Council, after a long debate, has decided and what the letter from the three Ministers says. We are certainly strongly committed to defending Iraq’s sovereignty, its territorial integrity and the importance of Iraqi ownership of the country’s internal political reform process.

When my colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Council give me a mandate to do whatever I can, to use all the tools of diplomacy and to talk with everybody – everybody means, I say it again, everybody – in order to look for a regional political solution, I understand that it is an invitation to keep in touch with the Iraqi Government. Well, for the time being, the Iraqi Government is a caretaker government, but immediately afterwards – this meeting was on Friday – I kept in touch with the Iraqi Government, even if it is a caretaker government, and on Monday, the Vice—Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq was here having political consultations with the Secretary—General of the European External Action Service, and we agreed that we have to do more.

Someone asked me who can do more and how. Well, just by developing the Association Agreement that we signed, which was ratified and entered into force in 2018, just doing that is a lot of things. It is a lot of work and a lot of possibilities. We have a mission there and we can reinforce this mission. This Association Agreement opens the door to a lot of relationships on trade, economics and security, and certainly we have to decide what we are going to do from the point of view of the foreign, defence and security policy with the mission that we have there.

The soundest thing would be to reinforce it in order to help the Iraqi Government to avoid the country falling apart in any way because, after listening to all of you, I understand that all of you are completely aware of the very dramatic consequences that could come for our security if we have a crisis in Iraq similar to the one we have been witnessing in Syria.

That is why in the next days and weeks I will be engaged in a diplomatic consultation with the Iraqis and will offer our support and our help in order to continue the reform process in this country and avoid losing all the process and progress that has been made in the last years.

We can have a lot of discussions about what the future will be, but for the time being one thing is clear: Iran is not a nuclear power today thanks to the JCPOA and I don’t see how we can build an alternative agreement. I really don’t see it. Everybody talks about this deal. Some of you have been curious enough to have a look at it. It is a book like this, thick like this, full of technicalities, which it took 10 years to agree on.

I really don’t believe that it’s going to be easy to build another agreement with the same complexity, dealing, in a much more complex and conflictual environment, with the current situation. So that is why I have to insist that for us Europeans – and I am talking on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Council – we have to do whatever we can in order to make this deal survive, and for that we clearly have to push and influence the Iranians in order to fulfil all their commitments.

But let me tell you one thing that I think I already told you at the beginning. The Americans withdrew unilaterally from this deal and the Iranians have respected their obligation for 14 months without any kind of contretemps. Now they have certainly said that they don’t feel bound by the constraints of this agreement, but it is one thing not to feel bound and another to go over to the other side. There only the International Atomic Energy Agency can tell us how much and when it has happened. That’s why you have to rely on the reports from this Agency that, until now, has been a wise testimony of what is happening there. More engagement with Iraq and try to deal with all parts of the nuclear deal in order to keep it alive.

I can certainly also talk about the Ukrainian plane. I can talk and try to answer all the many interesting issues that you have raised during your interventions, but unhappily it would take too long. Let me just say thank you for your contributions. I am sure we will continue to have to deal with this issue in this Parliament.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – O que se passou recentemente no Irão e no Iraque é mais um passo na escalada de tensão, provocação e agressão protagonizada pelos EUA e Israel no Médio Oriente, tendo por objetivo impor a hegemonia do imperialismo norte-americano em toda a região. A ação levada a cabo pelos EUA que levou à morte do general Soleimani e de representantes de movimentos políticos do Iraque e do Líbano constitui um inequívoco acto de guerra, cujas consequências poderão conduzir a um conflito de proporções imprevisíveis. Estranhamente, ou talvez não, este acto de guerra não mereceu condenação pelos Estados-Membros ou pela própria UE. Rejeitamos a estratégia de desestabilização da região promovida pelos Estados Unidos e seus aliados. É fundamental cumprir o direito internacional e o respeito pela soberania dos povos, condenando esta agressão e a escalada de provocação no Médio Oriente. É fundamental acabar com a ocupação militar do Iraque. É fundamental defender a Paz e rejeitar a guerra.

 
  
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  Sergei Stanishev (S&D), in writing. – Three years after Trump’s stepping into office, US foreign policy is starting to look less bound to a coherent strategy and more like a victim of erratic impulses. His latest reckless actions in the Middle East are the pinnacle of a long series of provocations starting with US withdrawal from the Nuclear Deal in 2018. Without a doubt, no tears should be shed for General Soleimani, whose imprints remain all over conflict zones in the Middle East. Yet the dangerous escalation, brought by Soleimani’s assassination in violation of international law, pushed the region in a spiral of tragic events and led to hundredths of innocent victims. Instead of giving hope to moderation and normalisation, Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ strategy plays into the hands of emboldened military leaders and extreme hardliners. It’s no wonder they are now even more convinced in the need of a nuclear deterrent. We must now stand united in support of EU High Representative Borrell’s efforts to revert all parties to dialogue, calm and restraint and to harness the Nuclear Deal. For the EU, the time for reflection for bigger strategic autonomy has come. Dialogue and diplomacy will always be Europe’s ways, and not tweets and bombs.

 
Última actualización: 27 de enero de 2020Aviso jurídico - Política de privacidad