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Tuesday, 12 September 2023 - Strasbourg Revised edition

13. Iran: one year after the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini (debate)
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  Presidente. – Segue-se o debate sobre a declaração do Vice-Presidente da Comissão/Alto Representante da União para os Negócios Estrangeiros e a Política de Segurança sobre o Irão: um ano após o assassinato de Jina Mahsa Amini (2023/2836(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, honourable Members of the European Parliament, a year ago Mahsa Amini was killed while in custody of the Iranian morality police for allegedly violating the law requiring women to wear a hijab. She was 20 years old and her death sparked a nationwide movement in Iran.

We remember how women and men took to the streets in their hundreds of thousands. We have all witnessed their courage. As the European Union, we fully support the aspiration for a future where universal human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, protected and fulfilled. We are, all of us, appalled by the way the Iranian authorities handled domestic political dissidents. Their response to the protest, we consider that unacceptable: causing death, unjust detentions and suffering. Civic freedoms, in particular, free speech, press freedom and the right to free assembly have been ever more violently suppressed throughout the past year.

This repression has included the use of harsh sentences and the death penalty. The accelerating pace of executions over the past year, we consider most of them in violation of United Nations conventions that Iran itself has subscribed to. It is extremely worrying; such I expressed to the Iranian authorities. It is inhuman punishment, which represents a denial of human dignity and the fundamental right to life. That is why we ban it, in our European States. And we will continue to work for this universal abolition also in some states that are good partners of ours and they still have the death penalty.

We, the European Union institutions and its Member States, have stood united over the last 12 months. And you here at the European Parliament have been paying a continual attention to the human rights situation in Iran.

Last December, the European Union foreign ministers adopted a tougher stance vis-à-vis Iran, focusing on our resolute commitment to human rights. We have adopted nine consecutive rounds of sanctions. We have taken very clear positions in international fora, including in support of the international fact-finding mission. And let me state it clearly: we will continue considering options at our disposal to address the human rights situation in Iran.

As a consequence of all that, the last 12 months have marked a clear change in our relations and approach with Iran. We have observed, with great dismay, Iran’s support for Russia’s illegal war of aggression. Supplying arms, according to the Ukrainians, that were used by Russia for severe human rights violations, including civilian infrastructure and civilian people in Ukraine.

And with that, we have also reacted, including with sanctions and actions to prevent European components ending up in Iranian drones. Another clear turning point is the arbitrary detention of European Union citizens and European Union dual nationals, including, in particular, our colleague, Johan Floderus. The European Union and I personally have raised the situation of our citizens in every contact with the Iranian authorities at the highest political level. But our relations are at a low point.

At the same time, we need to maintain a necessary approach of critical engagement with Iran, keeping diplomatic channels open. This is essential to protect our citizens, our interests, and the support of the fundamental rights of the Iranian people. And I will not stop using every occasion and every interaction possible to urge Iran to change its behaviour. And I have done that all these last months, sending a clear message to Iran: stop suppressing and attacking fundamental rights and freedoms; release all European Union citizens – including, as I said, dual nationals – and stop supporting Russia in its illegal aggression against Ukraine.

 
  
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  David Lega, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, High Representative, Jina Mahsa Amini dared to defy the Iranian regime by showing her hair in public, and for this she paid the ultimate price. And one year ago, she was murdered. The protests which followed showed the brutality of a regime which uses its morality police to force political submission, a regime which supports Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorists, which seeks death to Israel, stakes its future on the Chinese Communist Party and aligns itself with Putin, Kim, Assad and Maduro, and which now sends drones for Russia’s indiscriminate killing of Ukrainians.

Iranians are suffering and we have seen recurring protests and crackdowns. The regime is frightened more will take to the streets. Last year, more than 500 protesters were killed. Schoolgirls have been poisoned in their own classrooms. ‘Women, life and freedom’, this was Jina Mahsa Amini’s universal message of dignity and opportunity, fullness and fairness and hope for women everywhere and indeed for all people.

So in July, I nominated Jina Mahsa Amini for the Sakharov Prize. Last week I called for this important debate. We shall honour her memory and cause, by putting more pressure on Iran’s human rights abusers with more EU sanctions, by labelling the IRGC as terrorists as this Parliament repeatedly voted for. And finally, by refusing more talks and any negotiations with the Iranian regime until all EU citizens that are unjustly held are freed. So the fight for women, life and freedom continues. Let’s dare to follow Jina Mahsa Amini’s lead.

 
  
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  Evin Incir, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, shame, shame, shame! 365 days of shamefulness have almost passed since the death of the Kurdish young girl Jina Mahsa Amini in the hands of the Iranian morality police. The world rose up then, but proper actions were absent. It is a shame that I need to reiterate what I said almost one year ago. To be silenced is to be compliant. Compliance cannot be the way forward for the international community if we truly stand for what we claim we stand, we preach and what we claim we stand for.

While some actions were taken against the terrorist regime in Iran, enough was not done. The few sanctions adopted are soon expiring, but the will of the people in Iran and the will of the European people were not accommodated. We need to be frank with that. We shouted it then and we are shouting it now. Designate IRGC as a terrorist organisation now. The Swedish EU presidency refused to act, but we still hope that the Spanish presidency has more courage. The Jin, Jiyan, Azadi Movement are shouting for their freedom, but also our freedom. The regime’s oppression also reaches our citizens. The Swedish citizen Johan Floderus must be released.

Mr Vice President and High Representative, will the sanctions be prolonged? Will the IRGC be designated as terrorist organisation, and will Johan Floderus be released?

 
  
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  Bart Groothuis, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, High Representative, colleagues, this week marks one year since the brave Mahsa Amini was shamefully beaten to death by the Islamic Morality Police in Tehran. We honour Amini, her relatives and friends today and we honour the brave Iranian people because they stood up against their oppressors.

In this same week, we also express our continuous disapproval of the Iranian regime, not just for still further suppressing and oppressing the Iranian people or irresponsibly developing weapons of mass destruction, but also because of kidnapping European citizens to put political pressure on us here in Europe. This is unacceptable hostage diplomacy and the European answer for 513 days has been civilised silent diplomacy.

Dear High Representative, there is a point in time where silent diplomacy is neither effective nor acceptable. That time is now. Three obvious suggestions. One: as long as Europeans in Iran can be taken hostage without any reason, we must not allow Europeans to travel to Iran. Two: expel Iranian ambassadors from Europe as long as our citizens do not return home safely. Three: finally put the IRGC on the EU terror list but complement that with another obvious course of action, sanctioning the men of Beit-e Rahbari, the Office of the Supreme Leader. They issue human rights violations on a daily basis.

This week is to commemorate and to honour those in search of freedom and a better future. This is definitely not a week to stay silent.

 
  
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  Hannah Neumann, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, High Representative, so, finally, you are here to explain why your Iran policy over the last 12 months has been so different from what this Parliament asked you to do. Yet all I heard was we are trying our best, but it’s complicated. But in the end, Mr Borrell, it’s not the intention that counts, it’s the results. And where are we as of today? The Iranian regime exchanges hostages with convicted terrorists and kidnaps new ones. It becomes more repressive by the day. It is only weeks away from the nuclear bomb. It destabilises a whole region by proxy wars. And Iranian drones are attacking our allies in Ukraine.

Mr Borrell, it’s time to clearly spell it out. The EU’s Iran policy of the last 44 years has failed, and it is your job to think about new policies. Stop meeting regime representatives and start meeting the many different people that advocate for a free Iran, stop financial flows of the regime and start exploring avenues for the diaspora to send home remittances for the strike front. Encourage Member States to give more humanitarian visas to those badly injured by regime violence and spell out the truth. This regime terrorises its own citizens and the whole region. It systematically uses rape to force political prisoners into confessions, and it is already preparing to crack down the protests planned for 16 September.

Mr Borrell, you have to stop stabilising a brutal regime while the people in Iran are prepared to die for its downfall. (The speaker used a slogan in a non-EU language)

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, Vice President / High Representative, the policy of rapprochement with Iran after the signing of the JCPOA did not bring positive results. On the contrary, it emboldened the mullahs’ regime in further subjugating its own people and also EU citizens with dual citizenship.

Iran is also emboldened in continuing its support of terrorism and aligning itself with the most atrocious regimes of the world, including support for the war crimes and genocide perpetrated by the Russian Federation in Ukraine.

We have to adopt a more resolute stance vis-à-vis the regime in Iran. We have to better support people who face atrocities leading to deaths of courageous people like Mahsa Amini.

 
  
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  Marco Campomenosi, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, anch'io sono arrabbiato con Borrell; però so che non è solo colpa sua. Purtroppo siamo qui a commemorare, dopo un anno, la morte di Mahsa Amini, la ventiduenne curda iraniana che si è sacrificata per la libertà; siamo qui a una commemorazione che spero abbia un senso politico perché, certo, la Commissione non ha fatto quello che noi abbiamo chiesto, ma anche i governi, gli Stati nazionali, gli amici e partner americani hanno, a mio avviso, diminuito la pressione nei confronti di un regime che invece va combattuto.

La repressione di minoranze etniche e religiose continua; il supporto al terrorismo c'è; le esecuzioni sono, nel 2023, almeno 510 e sono quasi tutte sommarie; avvelenamenti di giovani, arresti di europei come arma di ricatto per liberare i terroristi.

Il Presidente Raisi sappiamo che ha delle responsabilità precise nelle repressioni del 1988, quando era un giudice e quindi ricopriva un altro ruolo. E quindi noi ci dividiamo, ci dividiamo anche nel supporto alle opposizioni. Anche questa è una cosa che non mi è piaciuta per niente.

C'è un'ipocrisia anche sul fatto che l'omicidio, la morte di Mahsa Amini nasce da un'interpretazione fanatica di una religione. Anche questo è un tema che va menzionato. E poi – lei lo ha detto – ci sono delle influenze esterne, certo, nella guerra in Ucraina ma non solo lì, anche in Iraq, in Libano e nel Nagorno Karabakh addirittura.

Quindi facciamo in modo che il sacrificio di questi giovani non sia vano perché veramente è imbarazzante rispetto a un ruolo che vogliamo darci al cospetto del resto del mondo, perché, sinceramente, questo Parlamento ha scritto delle cose che sono applicabili e su cui bisogna lavorare tutti insieme.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: OTHMAR KARAS
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Marisa Matias, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhor Presidente, a morte horrível de Mahsa Amini provocou a maior demonstração de unidade do povo iraniano contra a República Islâmica nos seus 44 anos de história e funcionou como uma lente de aumento para as flagrantes violações dos direitos humanos cometidas por um regime que massacra o seu povo para manter o poder e reprimir e silenciar a dissidência.

A resposta do regime foi brutal. Até à data, mataram impunemente mais de 500 iranianos inocentes, incluindo 73 crianças. Executaram pessoas após julgamentos simulados, detiveram e encarceraram mais de 20 000 pessoas, incluindo estudantes, ativistas, artistas, jornalistas e diplomatas. Há já relatos de detenções arbitrárias, antes mesmo das manifestações do aniversário da morte de Mahsa Amini.

No funeral de Mahsa, o seu avô escreveu no túmulo: «Mahsa, o teu nome será um símbolo». E é, de facto, um símbolo. Um símbolo de resistência, de liberdade, de luta contra a opressão.

Por isso, aqui na União Europeia, temos a obrigação de ser mais consistentes e mais combativos na defesa deste precioso símbolo.

Mulher, vida, liberdade.

 
  
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  Isabel Wiseler-Lima (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Haut représentant, la mort de Mahsa Amini reste dans nos mémoires comme une épine, une épine qui n’en sortira plus. Un an plus tard, nous n’oublions pas. Nous n’oublions pas cette tragédie qui a été l’étincelle d’un mouvement, inédit dans son ampleur et sa durée, contre le pouvoir en Iran.

Un an à condamner le meurtre de Mahsa Amini, cette jeune femme de 22 ans à peine. Un an à condamner la répression brutale, les exécutions, les emprisonnements, la torture, le recours à la violence contre les femmes et les manifestants, contre tous ceux qui se battent pour la liberté. Malheureusement, un an après, ce régime continue à écraser sa population et les violences à son encontre ont encore augmenté à l’approche de cet anniversaire.

Nous sommes admiratifs et solidaires de la population iranienne en révolte. Elle fait preuve d’un courage exceptionnel face à un régime éhonté qui opprime sa population et soutient la Russie dans sa guerre d’agression contre l’Ukraine. Votre combat est aussi le nôtre. J’aimerais clore sur cette formule si puissante et qui unit tant d’hommes et de femmes: (l'oratrice s'exprime dans une langue non officielle) femme, vie, liberté.

 
  
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  Udo Bullmann (S&D). – Herr Präsident, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Es ist ein Jahr her, dass Dschina Mahsa Amini umgebracht wurde. Wir haben die mutigen Demonstrationen gesehen, das Aufbegehren der Menschen im Iran, insbesondere der Frauen, und wir haben die brutale Reaktion des Regimes wahrgenommen: die Niederschlagung, die Unterdrückung der Opposition, die Gewalttaten, und die Situation verschlechtert sich – allein in diesem Jahr über 500 Menschen, die hingerichtet wurden.

Menschenrechte sind unteilbar – sie gelten überall und für alle. Das ist die Lehre der mutigen Menschen für uns. Aber sie haben einen Gegner: Das ist unser Stillschweigen, das ist unser Hinhalten. Herr Borrell, wir müssen andere Saiten aufziehen. Ja, die Revolutionsgarden müssen auf die Liste der Terrororganisationen gesetzt werden. Und wir müssen die finanziellen Stricke unterbinden, mit denen dieses Regime sich international absichert. Das ist das, was wir zu erledigen haben. Und das ist das, was unsere Mitgliedstaaten verstehen müssen. Wenn nicht jetzt handeln, wann wollen wir handeln?

Wir setzen auf Sie und auf Ihr Engagement, dass Sie dafür sorgen, dass das nun endlich geschieht.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Haut Représentant, c’était le 16 septembre de l’année dernière, Mahsa Amini mourait sous les coups de la police des mœurs. C’était il y a tout juste un an. Un an aussi que les Iraniennes ne désarment pas; un an que, rejointes par les jeunes, par les étudiants, par les intellectuels, par les commerçants, elles défient chaque jour le régime des mollahs de Téhéran. Un régime qui emprisonne, qui torture, qui exécute; un régime qui jure l’extermination d’Israël, qui finance les exactions du Hezbollah, un régime qui enlève hommes et femmes et qui monnaient leur liberté – cette odieuse diplomatie des otages.

Un an aussi que Téhéran se raidit plus encore à l’approche de cet anniversaire: menaces sur les proches, caméras autour de la tombe de Mahsa Amini, nouvelle «loi chasteté» plus rigide encore. La terreur est installée. Autant de raisons pour nous de continuer d’être aux côtés de ces femmes, de ces Iraniens. Je propose aussi que le prix Sakharov 2023 pour la liberté de pensée leur soit attribué. Femmes, vie, liberté. Parce que notre devoir impérieux est de rester leur voix, parce que notre devoir impérieux est de rester leur espoir. (l'oratrice s'exprime dans une langue non officielle)

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, dear colleagues, one year has passed since the tragic death of Jina Mahsa Amini in Iranian custody. Her death sparked months of rallies during which more than 500 people lost their lives and seven were executed. As the anniversary approaches, the Iranian authorities are stepping up their efforts to control unrest and protests. Women’s rights advocates, students, journalists and the families of demonstrators who died have all been the focus of a wave of arrests in Iran in recent weeks.

Worryingly, violence against women in prison is on the rise and a new draft law is currently being debated which threatens women who do not follow tight clothing regulations. The EU must respond to these grave human rights violations by strengthening sanctions and help those facing prosecution by giving assistance such as bail or medical care as well as asylum.

As we remember Jina Mahsa Amini, let us stand in solidarity with the countless women in Iran who courageously battle each day for their rights and freedom. Women, Life, Freedom!

 
  
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  Charlie Weimers (ECR). – Mr President, one year has passed since the murder of Mahsa Amini. During that time, we witnessed the greatest uprising the Islamic Republic has ever seen: protests worldwide for ‘women, life, freedom’.

Out of fear and desperation, the regime attempted to suffocate the burning embers of hope, imprisoning bereaved family members and friends for simply gathering near the gravesites of the mullahs’ victims. And what has Europe’s response been? Have Member States expelled the ambassadors of the mullahs while recalling their own? Did this House vote to terminate the Iran nuclear deal? Has the Council designated the IRGC as a terrorist organisation and used their assets to create a strike fund? No.

High Representative Borrell, your Iran policy has failed. Iranians don’t want your rapprochement. They’re waiting for Europe to show maximum support for the people and to put maximum pressure on the regime. Dear colleagues, let’s honour the memory of Mahsa Amini by working together from left to right for a new Iran policy.

 
  
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  Jean-Paul Garraud (ID). – Monsieur le Président, il y a un an, la jeune Mahsa Amini mourait en détention après son arrestation par la police des mœurs iraniennes pour ne pas avoir porté le voile correctement. La mort brutale de cette jeune femme avait suscité une indignation mondiale et provoqué des mois de manifestations en Iran contre le régime islamiste en place. Réprimée dans la violence et le sang, cette juste révolte a permis aux femmes iraniennes d’alerter le monde sur leur situation. Un an après, rien n’a vraiment changé. Les arrestations, les simulacres de procès, les détentions abusives, les disparitions, les exécutions se multiplient.

Et pendant qu’en Iran, les femmes musulmanes paient de leur vie leur refus du voile, au même moment, en France, les islamistes mènent une offensive avec l’abaya, une tenue symbole de l’asservissement de la femme. Alors que le ministre de l’éducation nationale a interdit celle-ci à l’école, les irresponsables politiciens des Verts et de la France insoumise ont accusé le ministre d’avoir instauré une police du vêtement. Quelle insulte intolérable à l’encontre des milliers de jeunes femmes persécutées dans les pays musulmans par de véritables police des mœurs, et donc des vêtements.

Quant à la Commission européenne, elle illustre à nouveau une de ses campagnes de communication avec une fillette voilée. L’Union européenne doit comprendre qu’en faisant la promotion du voile, elle favorise l’entrisme islamiste et aggrave la situation de toutes ces femmes musulmanes qui se battent pour leur liberté.

Notre délégation est fière d’avoir, dès l’origine, organisé nombre de manifestations officielles pour venir au soutien et même au secours de ce peuple iranien opprimé par l’obscurantisme et le totalitarisme islamiste. Puisse son courage inspirer les instances européennes.

 
  
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  Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (The Left). – Señor presidente, asistimos atónitos a una nueva ola de represión al cumplirse un año del asesinato de Mahsa Amini. Sus familiares tampoco han visto cumplido su derecho a la verdad, la justicia y la reparación.

La situación en el país es muy grave: represión de las protestas, detenciones, encarcelamientos arbitrarios, violencia sexual, tortura, desapariciones forzadas. La violencia y discriminación que sufren las mujeres es desoladora. El castigo por dejarse ver sin velo incluye prisión y latigazos. Se ha denunciado el uso de tecnologías de reconocimiento facial para identificar y detener a mujeres y niñas que incumplen las leyes discriminatorias y cientos de empresas han sido cerradas precisamente por negarse a aplicarlas. Las mujeres no tienen derecho a la educación y muchas niñas han sido envenenadas en las escuelas. Tampoco pueden acceder a servicios bancarios o transporte público.

El proyecto de Ley de Apoyo a la Familia mediante la promoción de la cultura de la castidad y el hiyab es el último despropósito. Una barbaridad que la ONU ha calificado como una forma de apartheid de género. Frente al grito «mujer, vida y libertad» de miles de mujeres que se rebelaron, el régimen iraní ha instaurado un régimen de terror. Sin embargo, la memoria de Amini y la revuelta de las iraníes sigue viva todavía. Vencerán. Venceremos.

 
  
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  Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE). – Señor presidente, el régimen iraní sanciona a decenas de diputados nacionales europeos y diputados al Parlamento Europeo. Silencio europeo. Financia directa o indirectamente movimientos políticos populistas en Europa y apoya a grupos terroristas que actúan en el mundo entero, incluida Europa. Silencio europeo. Derriba un avión de pasajeros en 2020 de Ukraine International Airlines con veinte pasajeros europeos muertos. Silencio europeo. Secuestra a ciudadanos europeos: nos enteramos —y nos tenemos que enterar por la prensa norteamericana— de que un funcionario del Servicio Europeo de Acción Exterior lleva más de un año preso en Irán. Tras el vil asesinato de Mahsa Amini se detiene a 30 000 ciudadanos iraníes y se mata a otros 750 tras manifestaciones en contra del régimen.

Hoy, aquí, en este Parlamento Europeo, por una vez me he sentido orgulloso de ver a la izquierda y a la derecha condenar todo esto y espero que los funcionarios del Consejo, de la Comisión y de los Gobiernos europeos de una vez se enteren de que no podemos jugar ni seguir actuando con el régimen iraní.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Mr President, the three words ‘women, life, freedom’ echoing through the streets of Tehran ignited the flame and fuelled the fight for women’s rights across the globe.

The women of Iran command our utmost respect for their remarkable courage, for standing against injustice, for honouring the memory of Mahsa Amini, brutally murdered at the hands of the morality police. Protesters risk their lives so that no woman gets harassed or killed due to a bigoted dress code ever again.

But one year has passed, and sadly, the oppression continues. But we should not give up hope. The European Union can do more and, specifically, High Representative, we need a tougher, more principled and transparent stance from you as the EU’s top diplomat. We need better enforcement of existing sanctions, and also the EU must respond firmly to Member State governments who continue to collaborate with the Iranian regime. Let us remember that Hungary’s foreign minister met his Iranian counterpart just two months after Mahsa Amini’s murder. Where was the EU's reaction?

Unity matters in this case. So let us send a message to the women and minorities of Iran: you are not alone; we stand with you in your quest for life and freedom.

 
  
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  Anna Bonfrisco (ID). – Signor Presidente, Alto rappresentante, onorevoli colleghi, a un anno dalla tragica morte di Mahsa Amini e dall'inizio delle proteste delle coraggiose donne e ragazze iraniane, abbiamo agito per isolare il regime dalla comunità internazionale: eppure, l'Iran presiederà lo Human Rights Council Social Forum delle Nazioni Unite.

Abbiamo imposto sanzioni ma la Guardia rivoluzionaria islamica è ancora fuori dalla lista delle organizzazioni terroristiche dell'Unione europea. Abbiamo chiesto indagini internazionali sull'avvelenamento di migliaia di bambini in Iran: ma ancora non è stato fatto nulla.

Quindi, da una parte, ci sono le donne iraniane, il popolo iraniano, la resistenza iraniana. Dall'altra, c'è il regime degli Ayatollah che impone morte e repressione. È solo sulla base dei risultati, signor Alto rappresentante, che staremo dalla parte giusta della storia. Stiamo attenti.

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Mr President, High Representative, in 2022, twenty-four women were executed globally. Sixteen of them were in Iran – the highest level of female executions in any country. Last month, a dozen activists have reportedly been arrested arbitrarily, and this is probably an underestimate.

A year has passed since the tragic and unlawful death of Mahsa Amini. Her name is remembered, as are all the women who have unjustifiably been attacked, intimidated and murdered by the morality police. The attack on Mahsa was a cruel and horrific reflection of the oppression and injustices faced by women in Iran. Her death brought the Iranian people to the streets, proving their strength, their courage. The resistance was faced with violence and attacks from the government, and this continues to this day.

As a Union that stands for freedom, democracy and human rights we must show that we support the cause of Iranian women and that they are not alone in their fight for equality. The murder of Mahsa signified a call for action, a red line that cannot go unpunished. The European Union must defend the fundamental right of all women to choose to live the life they want for themselves.

Let us remember Mahsa Amini today. Let us shout from this Parliament: ‘Women, Life, Freedom!’

 
  
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  Thijs Reuten (S&D). – Mr President, dear High Representative, it is a year since the death of Jina Amini. It should have been the year in which the IRGC was placed on the EU terrorist organisations list. It should have been the year we got an international accountability mechanism. It could also very well have been the year that we stopped being afraid of autocrats supporting Russian aggression, that we started to protect Iranians in our society.

It became a year of executions, torture and terror, but also a year of sheer unanimous support in this House and many other parliaments for the Iranian people – the year Iranian singers continued releasing songs, more and more ignored the regime, continued dancing like we all will be dancing one day on Azadi Square.

Let’s honour Jina Amini and all others who believed in freedom, say their names and do now what must be done. To the regime, I say the brave Iranians will not stop and we will not stop supporting them! (The speaker used a slogan in a non-EU language)

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew). – Mr President, High Representative Borrell, you know that I like you very much and also that I applaud the courage that you have got in the Ukrainian file.

But I have to tell you – and the proof, you have listened to it – nobody likes your position on Iran. That’s the reality. The reasons are very clear. Let’s be honest, the policy and the strategy of Europe towards Iran is purely symbolic. It has nothing to do with stopping the regime. The so-called critical engagement; what does it mean? Two hundred and twenty-six people have been sanctioned by the European Union for human rights abuses. For the help of Iran to Russia, twelve people have been sanctioned. Twelve people. That is the only thing that’s happened.

In the meanwhile, the Revolutionary Guard is still not a terrorist organisation. So, I can tell you one thing. This Parliament wants another approach. My request will be, Mr President, that in two months we put this file, in November, again on the plenary of this Parliament. So we can see that you change your strategy and that you can also convince your colleagues – ministers of foreign affairs, because I know it’s not only you who is responsible for it – for a new course, because what is happening in Iran is a scandal. It’s a regime of murderers and criminals, and we have to be really tough with them.

 
  
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  Silvia Sardone (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io mi vergogno; io mi vergogno di un'Unione europea che finge di sostenere la protesta delle donne iraniane e di ricordare il coraggio della grande Mahsa Amini. Mi vergogno perché siete proprio voi che promuovete, per i vostri eventi, il velo islamico.

Ormai sono anni che vediamo l'hijab rappresentato in chiave positiva nelle comunicazioni e sui social delle istituzioni europee: lo abbiamo visto per la conferenza sul futuro dell'Europa, gli eventi sulla gioventù, le pubblicazioni sull'ambiente, la Giornata dei diritti dell'uomo e la parità di genere e perfino per il giorno anti omofobia.

Io mi vergogno di un'Unione europea succube dell'Islam. Io mi vergogno di un'Unione europea che vede il velo islamico come strumento di integrazione e diversità, quando invece opprime le donne. Io mi vergogno di un'Unione europea che gira le spalle alle tante donne che vogliono essere libere di non portarlo, di vestirsi come preferiscono, di frequentare, amare e sposare chi vogliono.

Oggi più che mai bisogna ribadire che il velo islamico non è simbolo di libertà ma di sottomissione. No al velo islamico!

 
  
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  Delara Burkhardt (S&D). – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wer als Frau in der Islamischen Republik Iran geboren wird, wird niemals frei sein.

Für meine Familie war es der Grund, das Land nach der Ermordung meines Großvaters zu verlassen. Viele sind geblieben. Und den Widerstand gegen das Regime, den gibt es seit der ersten Stunde. Mutige Menschen wie Narges Mohammadi, die ihr Leben riskieren für einen freien Iran. Der Mord an Dschina Mahsa Amini hat den jahrzehntelangen Widerstand revolutioniert.

Aus einzelnen Bewegungen wurde eine große Bewegung. Ihre Stimme wurde auf der ganzen Welt nicht nur gehört, sondern auch verstärkt – auch hier im Europäischen Parlament. Ein Jahr später ist das Regime blind vor Angst. Ihm bleibt nichts als seine Gewalt. Die Zahl der Opfer, Gefolterten und Inhaftierten steigt täglich. „Im toten Winkel sind all diese Verbrechen“, sagt der Rapper Tomaz Salehi. Wenn wir das als EU mit den Menschenrechten ernst meinen, dann darf es nie wieder tote Winkel für dieses Regime geben.

Trotz aller Gefahr werden in den nächsten Tagen wieder tausende Menschen im Iran auf der Straße sein. Sie riskieren alles. Für Frauen, Leben, Freiheit. Was riskieren Sie, Herr Borrell?

 
  
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  Abir Al-Sahlani (Renew). – Mr President, Mr Commissioner, (The speaker used a slogan in a non-EU language) women, life, freedom, three words that have been shaking the world since the killing, the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini. And the killings have continued, the arrests have continued, the executions have continued, and all that in the name of God. Let it be known that there will be no God, there will be no history book, there will be no Iranian, be it Farsi, Kurdi, Baluchi, Arab, Azeri that will ever forgive this murderous regime. And this, Mr Borrell, has been rewarded by the governments of the EU with negotiations, negotiations with the murderous regime that has been holding its own citizens hostages for the last 44 years, and now even keeping EU citizens hostages, like the Swedish diplomat, Johan Floderus. Stop the mumbling. Stop the press releases. It is time to act. It is time to put the IRGC on the EU terrorist list. It is time to freeze their assets, to confiscate their money. It is time to act, and it’s time to show a real stand of solidarity with the women of Iran. Let us stand with the women of Iran. (The speaker used a slogan in a non-EU language) Freedom! Freedom! Freedom for all Iran!

 
  
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  Anders Vistisen (ID). – Hr. formand! Det islamiske terrorregime har ikke kun magt, hvor de har hjemme. Det har også magt lige her på europæisk grund, hvor de har stået bag mord og terror og senest gennem Organisationen af Islamiske Lande har krævet, at lande som Danmark og Sverige indskrænker vores ytringsfrihed for at respektere religionen islam. Et forbud, som svenskerne modigt har stået imod, men som den danske regering har valgt at give efter over for. Et forbud, der betyder, at den dansk-iranske flygtningekunstner Bazrafkan nu ikke længere kan udstille de værker, hvor hun kæmper imod den apartheid mod kvinder, der foregår på daglig basis i Iran. Og hvad har EU-Kommissionens reaktion været? Har det været at støtte Danmark og Sverige i kampen for ytringsfrihed? Har det været, at iranere, der lever på europæisk grund, kan protestere mod regimet? Nej, reaktionen fra Kommissionen har været støtte til de islamiske kræfter, støtte til Iran i, at vi skal begrænse kunstneres ytringsfrihed her i EU, mod at få lidt fred for islam. Sandheden er, at Bazrafkan føler sig nu ikke bare umyndiggjort, da hun var iraner, men også umyndiggjort som europæer levende i et europæisk land. Med støtte fra Kommissionen støtter man islamisterne. Jeg siger nej tak. Det er uværdigt.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signor Presidente, gentile Alto rappresentante, onorevoli colleghi, a un anno dall'atroce assassinio di Mahsa Amini, qualcosa è cambiato in Iran ma sicuramente non in meglio.

La leadership iraniana ha messo in atto misure ultrarepressive e brutali per rafforzare il suo controllo sulla popolazione: telecamere di sorveglianza sono state installate per le strade e migliaia di persone sono ancora ingiustamente detenute, senza alcun rispetto dei loro diritti fondamentali.

Inoltre, abbiamo di recente appreso che il cittadino svedese, funzionario dell'Unione europea, Johan Floderus, è stato arrestato più di 500 giorni fa senza accuse formali ed è ancora in attesa di un processo. La silent diplomacy non è bastata. È il momento di portare questo caso alla luce, di chiedere con fermezza, apertamente, pubblicamente, il rilascio di Floderus. Non possiamo tollerare la ripugnante repressione del governo iraniano e dobbiamo utilizzare tutti i mezzi a nostra disposizione per riportare Johan a casa.

Nonostante questo comportamento autoritario, donne e uomini stanno ancora lottando per la loro libertà, perché non ci sono scogli, colleghi, indipendentemente dalla loro dimensione, che possano arginare il mare: dobbiamo stare loro vicini nella loro aspirazione legittima a una società libera, in cui ognuno possa decidere per sé. Vi invito quindi a levare insieme la nostra voce: democrazia, giustizia e libertà per il popolo iraniano.

 
  
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  Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D). – Monsieur le Haut Représentant, «Femme, Vie, Liberté». Il y a un an, l’assassinat de Jina Mahsa Amini déclenchait l’incroyable soulèvement des femmes et du peuple d’Iran. Un an d’héroïsme, un an de répression féroce, un an de tergiversations européennes.

Malgré la barbarie, le sang et les larmes, les Iraniennes continuent à se battre, à lutter et à crever. Et elles comptent sur nous. Tout retour à la normale avec les bourreaux de Téhéran serait une trahison. Il faut non seulement prolonger les sanctions, mais les renforcer. Ce Parlement a demandé à une écrasante majorité que les Gardiens de la révolution soient placés sur la liste des organisations terroristes. Où en sommes-nous sur ce sujet?

Ce régime terrorise les Iraniennes et les Iraniens. Ce régime terrorise les Syriens. Ce régime terrorise les Libanais. Ce régime terrorise les Ukrainiens en fournissant à Poutine les drones qui ravagent leurs villes. Ce régime, enfin, kidnappe des Européens et les retient en otage. Quand allons-nous nommer un chat, un chat et un terroriste, un terroriste? Ayons juste un centième du courage des Iraniennes, et alors nous serons crédibles et puissants. Femme, vie, liberté (l'orateur s'exprime dans une langue non officielle).

 
  
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  Bernard Guetta (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, pourquoi tant de gibets? Pourquoi l’Iran en était-il déjà à 250 pendaisons au début de l’été? Pourquoi cette théocratie militaire continue-t-elle à tuer à un tel rythme? Ce régime a peur. Il a toutes les raisons d’avoir peur, car depuis 26 ans, depuis qu’un réformateur, Mohammad Khatami, avait été élu à la présidence de la République, la contestation n’a jamais cessé dans ce pays. La répression n’a jamais empêché les Iraniens de redescendre dans la rue, inlassablement.

Mais voilà que pour la première fois, la mobilisation dure depuis plus d’un an. Des femmes continuent à sortir tête nue et en sont soutenues et applaudies. La base sociale de ce régime fond à vue d’œil. Le seul espoir de cette dictature est désormais de conclure une trêve avec les monarchies du Golfe. Elle ne prétend plus même porter une révolution dans l’islam. Elle est simplement devenue le plus vermoulu des piliers de la grande alliance conservatrice, celle qui l’unit dans le sang à Moscou et à Pékin.

 
  
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  Isabella Tovaglieri (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, dopo l'uccisione di Mahsa Amini in Iran è cambiato tutto. In Europa, purtroppo, invece, non è cambiato niente. Mentre infatti a Teheran si muore, Bruxelles si è dimenticata in fretta di tutte le Saman Abbas d'Europa e continua a promuovere nelle comunicazioni ufficiali il velo come simbolo di libertà e di emancipazione, calpestando così la battaglia delle donne iraniane contro quello che invece ritengono essere l'emblema della sottomissione femminile e lanciando così un pericolosissimo segnale a tutti i fondamentalisti che vivono nei nostri Paesi democratici.

Non possiamo indignarci per i diritti negati in Iran se lasciamo che la deriva islamista calpesti la nostra cultura e i nostri valori occidentali. Siamo arrivati al punto che in Italia è stata chiesta l'assoluzione di un immigrato che picchiava a sangue la moglie, giustificando anni di botte come un fatto culturale. Se continuiamo così, a furia di passi indietro sulle nostre conquiste, l'Iran purtroppo ci sembrerà sempre meno lontano.

 
  
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  Dietmar Köster (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Fast ein Jahr ist seit dem gewaltsamen Tod von Dschina Mahsa Amini vergangen. 361 Tage, in denen Menschen, die gegen das Mullah-Regime protestiert haben, verschleppt, gefoltert und hingerichtet wurden.

Was das Regime allerdings nicht geschafft hat, ist, die feministische Revolution zu ersticken. Aber was hat die Europäische Union bislang getan, um die Menschen im Iran in ihrem Kampf zu unterstützen? Wo ist das Bemühen darum, die Revolutionsgarden auf die EU-Terrorliste zu setzen, was wir im Parlament im Januar beschlossen haben? Wo bleiben gezielte und durchgreifende Sanktionen gegen die Verantwortlichen? Wo bleibt die diplomatische Isolation des Iran? Wo bleibt das stete Einwirken auf ein Ende der schrecklichen Exekutionen? Und endlich: Wo bleiben Initiativen zur Abschaffung der Todesstrafe? Und wo bleibt eine Initiative, schnellere Visa- und Asylverfahren für Iranerinnen zu schaffen?

Am 16. September werden weltweit Menschen auf die Straßen gehen. Sie solidarisieren sich mit den mutigen, protestierenden Iranerinnen und den Getöteten. Sie werden ihre Namen rufen. Laut und deutlich: Say their names!

 
  
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  Samira Rafaela (Renew). – Voorzitter, een jaar sinds de brute moord op Jina Mahsa Amini door het Iraanse schurkenregime – zo kun je dat wel noemen. Sinds haar moord zijn tienduizenden activisten – veelal vrouwen, veelal jong – gevangengenomen door dit verschrikkelijke regime. Totaal geen respect voor mensenrechten. In de afgelopen maand zijn weer tenminste twaalf activisten gedetineerd. En voor wat? Omdat ze voor zichzelf opkomen, voor hun eigen rechten, zoals dat gewoon in een normale democratische rechtsstaat zou horen. En dat kunnen we dus verwachten van een regering die haar eigen inwoners monddood heeft gemaakt, die meisjes en vrouwen als tweederangsburgers beschouwt, die kinderen en tieners de doodstraf oplegt. De nieuwe aankomende wet die de hidjab verplicht is een gevaarlijk middel voor verdere onderdrukking. Je mag zélf kiezen wat je draagt.

Maar weet u, niet alleen als het gaat om vrouwen of mensenrechten in het algemeen gaat het mis in Iran. Neem nu ook onze eigen Europese inwoners die gegijzeld worden, die behandeld worden als onderhandelingswaar door het Iraanse regime. En daarom is het zo belangrijk dat we een strategie ontwikkelen tegen gijzeldiplomatie. We kunnen dat niet alleen. De lidstaten moeten daarin samenwerken. Dus ik roep echt de Europese Commissie op om een strategie te ontwikkelen tegen gijzeldiplomatie.

 
  
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  France Jamet (ID). – Monsieur le Président, il y a un an, dans la République islamique d’Iran, succombait Jina Mahsa Amini, arrêtée par la police des mœurs parce qu’elle ne portait pas correctement son hijab. Non, à tous les islamo-gauchistes du monde et de cet hémicycle, et à la Commission européenne qui le martèle: le voile islamique n’émancipe pas la femme. Il n’est pas non plus un choix librement consenti. Jina Mahsa en est morte. Mais savez-vous qu’un sondage, en 2016, faisait apparaître que 75 % des femmes qui portaient chez nous le voile le faisait par obligation sociale ou par obligation familiale?

Ne pas livrer chez nous ce combat pour ces jeunes filles et ces femmes, c’est être complice. Dénoncer la mort de Jina Mahsa et le sort de ces femmes courageuses en Iran perd tout son sens si, drapés dans les oripeaux d’une pseudo-liberté individuelle revendiquée par les fondamentalistes, nous ne luttons pas contre cette contrainte tribale qui est imposée aux femmes ici, chez nous.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, un an s’est écoulé depuis l’assassinat de Mahsa Amini à cause d’une mèche de cheveux non voilée. Depuis 44 ans exactement, les femmes sont les cibles du régime autoritaire, de cette police des mœurs qui veut régenter leur vie et museler tout un peuple.

Un an après, rien n’a changé. Plus de 20 000 manifestants ont été emprisonnés à la suite de manifestations pacifiques; la torture et les arrestations abusives continuent et des citoyens européens sont pris en otage comme monnaie d’échange pour la diplomatie. Tout ceci, c’est en fait un crime contre l’humanité. La promotion de la violence vis-à-vis des femmes est intolérable, tout comme l’empoisonnement des jeunes filles, afin de les obliger à se conformer aux normes des mollahs.

Les vaillantes femmes iraniennes refusent la dictature des mollahs qui imposent la mort et la répression et leur cri, «Femme, Vie, Liberté», retentit jusqu’à ce jour, et nous le scanderons avec elles pour prouver notre solidarité. Nous sommes à leurs côtés dans ce combat qu’elles mènent au prix de leur vie. Nous n’arrêterons pas de soutenir les femmes en Iran jusqu’à ce que ce régime meurtrier disparaisse et que chaque femme en Iran puisse jouir de la liberté.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, I do support the right of all Iranians to fundamental rights. After the tragic death of Mahsa Amini and the protests and violent crackdown that followed, this Parliament called for unilateral sanctions on Iran. Many more sanctions packages ensued. Multiple UN reports, including ones in September and December last year, highlight how unilateral sanctions from the EU, US, Australia and Canada impact the human rights of tens of millions of people in Iran.

The UN estimates that 40 000 people die prematurely each year from the direct effects that unilateral sanctions have on Iran’s air quality and environment. Tens of thousands more unnecessarily suffer and die from lack of access to medical equipment and medicines. Our sanctions are a death sentence for Iranians with rare diseases and cancers. Unilateral sanctions cause inflation, food insecurity and hinder the provision of basic goods, the building and maintenance of schools, hospitals and other critical infrastructure.

We are closing off the opportunities for millions of Iranians, men, women and children to live a decent life. You chant ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ but your sanctions are killing women. I would like to say that I find the attack on the High Representative today totally irrational.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Mr President, I support the self-determination of the people and the emancipation of women in Iran and everywhere else against repression, patriarchy and theocracy – something women in Ireland know a hell of a lot about, I can tell you – but I am not a fool enough to think that there will be any help for the people of Iran from a cat’s paw parliament in the lair of imperialism in Brussels or in Washington.

We saw that once again in July when a parade of European parliamentarians, including Enda Kenny, Ireland’s former Taoiseach, and a gaggle of MEPs, including some who’ve spoken in this discussion, flocked to the Free Iran World Summit in Paris to rub shoulders with the extreme right in America and support a ten point plan for overthrowing the government of Iran – an event organised by MEK, an extremist cult accused of intimidating, torturing and murdering members of the Iranian diaspora who sided with Saddam Hussein against the people of Iran, showing yet again that despite all your sloganeering in here about human rights and democracy, European elites are just bandwagoners for regime change!

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Señor presidente, señorías, he escuchado con mucha atención todas sus consideraciones y sus críticas. Lo que no puedo aceptar es que se diga que la Unión Europea apoya a este régimen, como acabo de escuchar. No sé de dónde sacan ustedes que apoyamos a este régimen.

Hemos estado trabajando todos, también ustedes, para apoyar a las mujeres iraníes en su lucha por sus derechos fundamentales. Y lo continuaremos haciendo.

Hemos denunciado y combatido el apoyo militar a Rusia, que Irán niega sistemáticamente, pero Ucrania lo presenta cada vez con elementos de evidencia más claros.

Vamos trabajando con los Estados miembros para intentar resolver todos los casos de los ciudadanos europeos detenidos ilegalmente en el país y ofreciendo nuestro apoyo para que puedan volver a Europa.

En el caso particular de Johan Floderus, es lo que hemos hecho. A veces, un trabajo discreto vale más que setenta intervenciones de un minuto, dicho sea con todos los respetos. Seguimos trabajando para conseguir su libertad. Lo hemos hecho desde el principio. Lo seguiremos haciendo con los instrumentos que nos permitan conseguirlo efectivamente.

Porque expresar la indignación moral, como ustedes han hecho aquí, está muy bien, pero no es seguramente algo que tenga la capacidad milagrosa de resolver el problema.

Estamos trabajando con las autoridades suecas, que son las primeras responsables del apoyo consular a sus ciudadanos. Y creo que discutir los casos —los detalles de este caso— públicamente no ayuda a la libertad de Johan Floderus, si es lo que ustedes quieren. Estoy seguro de que es lo que ustedes quieren. A veces eso complica la situación y nos dificulta el trabajo. En todas las ocasiones que hemos podido, hemos planteado el tema. Por última vez, este fin de semana pasado, durante el paso por Teherán de nuestro enviado especial para el Golfo, el señor Luigi di Maio. Porque sí, ha estado en Teherán. ¿A ustedes les parece mal que haya ido a Teherán a discutir con el régimen iraní sobre este problema y conseguido una visita consular a Johan? Yo creo que son cosas que hay que hacer. Son necesarias. Las seguiremos haciendo. Seguiremos trabajando para conseguir su libertad y apoyar a la sociedad iraní.

Ustedes han sacado con profusión la cuestión de la Guardia Revolucionaria. Creo que lo he explicado ya muchas veces, pero lo voy a volver a explicar. A ver si la próxima vez no vienen todos a repetir la misma historia. Vamos a ver: para sancionar, para calificar a la Guardia Revolucionaria como una organización terrorista, puesto que estamos en un Estado de Derecho, tenemos procedimientos que hay que seguir. Y estos procedimientos prevén que para tal cosa una autoridad nacional competente tiene que presentar, a través de una decisión de los tribunales o una orden administrativa de una autoridad capaz de hacerlo, un caso donde se demuestre que esa organización ha participado en un acto calificado como terrorista bajo el régimen de sanciones que tenemos en vigor. Y, sin eso, no podemos hacerlo. Y para eso necesitamos la unanimidad de los veintisiete Estados miembros sobre la base, como les digo, de —lo digo en inglés para no equivocarme—

A national decision by a competent national authority, such as a court decision or a proscription order by an administrative authority. That’s a prerequisite for any additional listing. That national decision must have been taken for an act that falls under the definition of terrorist acts under the sanctions regime in question.

Si ustedes consiguen que alguno de los Estados miembros suministre la información necesaria —como acabo de describir— pues entonces los veintisiete Estados podrán decidir hacerlo o no por unanimidad. Pero, hasta ahora, tal cosa no se ha producido y, por lo tanto, yo no puedo hacerlo. ¿Se enteran? Yo no puedo hacerlo. Y, si ustedes creen que me equivoco, pues expliquen por qué.

Por otra parte, la Unión Europea ya ha incluido en su listado de sanciones a individuos y entidades que son parte de la Guardia Revolucionaria bajo el sistema de sanciones que tenemos para casos de derechos humanos en Irán. Tenemos el sistema de sanciones para apoyar la integridad territorial de Ucrania, el sistema de sanciones contra los hechos ocurridos en Siria, y también contra el caso de las armas de destrucción masiva. Porque también eso tiene un régimen especial de sanciones. Y, por lo tanto, la incorporación nominal de la Guardia Revolucionaria tendría muy pocos efectos prácticos.

Pero, insisto, para poderlo hacer tengo que pasar por este procedimiento, que no está en mis manos sino en las de los Estados miembros. Espero que esto clarifique el procedimiento que hay que seguir para hacer realidad lo que sus señorías piden. Pero, como saben, nuestras normas y procedimientos tienen que ser seguidos, porque para eso estamos en un Estado de Derecho. En todo caso, muchas gracias por sus estímulos y por sus opiniones, no siempre favorables. Crean que seguiremos haciendo lo que tenemos que hacer con lo mejor de nuestras capacidades y voluntad.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

 
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