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Thursday, 31 January 2008 - Brussels
Situation in Iran

European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2008 on Iran

The European Parliament,

—  having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran, notably those concerning the nuclear issue and human rights and in particular the resolutions adopted on 13 October 2005(1) and 17 November 2005(2), its resolution of 15 February 2006 on the confrontation between Iran and the international community(3) and its resolution of 25 October 2007 on Iran(4),

—  having regard to the conclusions of the European Council on Iran and in particular those of 14 December 2007,

—  having regard to the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737/ (2006) and 1747/ (2007) on the Iranian nuclear programme,

—  having regard to the IAEA-Iran work plan agreed between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of 21 August 2007, and aimed at clearing up issues related to Iran's nuclear programme (included in attachment INFCIRC/711 to the IAEA Board of Governors' report (GOV/2007/48) of 30 August 2007 entitled "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran"),

—  having regard to the IAEA Board of Governors' reports and in particular to the report (GOV/2007/58) of 15 November 2007 entitled "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in the Islamic Republic of Iran",

—  having regard to the United States 'National Intelligence Estimate' report on Iran's Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities (US INE) published on 3 December 2007 and the statement by the IAEA Director-General, Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, on this issue (press release 2007/22),

—  having regard to UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions 61/176 of 19 December 2006 and 62/168 of 18 December 2007 on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in particular the latter,

—  having regard to UNGA resolution 62/149 of 18 December 2007 on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty,

—  having regard to the second interparliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and the Majlis of the Islamic Republic of Iran held in Tehran on 8-9 December 2007,

–   having regard to the declaration by the Council Presidency on behalf of the EU of 25 January 2008 concerning death sentences in Iran,

—  having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas Article IV of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) states that nothing in that Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all Parties to that Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of that Treaty,

B.   whereas Iran has not so far suspended all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and has not ratified the NPT Additional Protocols as required to do by UNSC resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006) and 1747 (2007) in order to restore confidence in the entirely peaceful nature of its programme,

C.   whereas Dr ElBaradei, in the above-mentioned report of 15 November 2007, noted that progress had been made on the implementation of IAEA safeguards in Iran and that Iran had provided more information on past aspects of its nuclear programme; whereas he nevertheless underscored that more cooperation was needed to explain current activity, including traces of highly enriched uranium that inspectors have found at nuclear sites, and urged Iran to implement the additional protocol at the earliest possible date,

D.   whereas in talks with Dr ElBaradei, in Teheran on 12 January 2008, the Iranian leaders agreed to answer all remaining questions about their country's past nuclear activities within four weeks,

E.   whereas the US NIE established that Iran, having stopped its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, had not restarted it as of mid-2007, notwithstanding the concerns regarding the enrichment of uranium and its potential future use for nuclear weapon; whereas, following the publication of this US NIE, pre-emptive military action against Iran before the end of President Bush's term has been removed as a possibility,

F.   whereas the G8 leaders, during their annual summit held from 6 to 8 June 2007 in Heiligendamm, stressed the importance of developing and implementing a mechanism of multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle as a possible alternative to pursuing national enrichment and reprocessing activities,

On human rights

G.   whereas the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the exercise of civil rights and political freedoms has deteriorated in the last two years, notably since the presidential elections of June 2005, despite the fact that Iran has undertaken to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms under the various international instruments in this field,

H.   whereas the number of executions in Iran, including those of minors, often by public hanging, has dramatically increased in recent years and in particular during the last few months,

I.   whereas there have been confirmed instances of executions, often carried out in public by hanging or stoning, torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, the systematic and arbitrary use of prolonged solitary confinement, clandestine detention, the application of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations, and impunity for human rights violations,

J.   whereas the violent repression against political opponents, human rights defenders, journalists, web loggers, teachers, intellectuals, women, students, trade unionists, and persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities has increased,

K.   whereas minorities such as Azeris, Sufis and Sunnis are increasingly discriminated against and harassed due to their religious or ethnic background and continue to face repression of their cultural and civil rights; whereas members of certain minorities such as Ahwazis, Kurds and Baluchs even face torture and execution,

L.   whereas members of the religious community of the Baha'is cannot exercise their faith, are exposed to severe persecution and deprived of virtually all civil rights (e.g. property rights and access to higher education), and whereas their religious sites are being vandalised,

M.   whereas several activists belonging to the women's rights movement are being or have been prosecuted for their involvement in the 'one million signatures' campaign, which seeks to obtain the repeal of laws that discriminate against women and which plans to submit those one million signatures to the National Parliament (Majlis); whereas Iran is still not a party to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

N.   whereas hundreds of professors have been removed from their teaching posts under the accusation of being too secular and whereas numerous students have been arrested following protests, such as those participating in the demonstrations for the National University Students' Day on 7 December 2007,

O.   whereas the registration of candidates for the Majlis parliamentary elections in March 2008 ended on 10 January 2008, the Ministry of the Interior will be announcing the decisions from 22 January 2008, and the Guardian Council, which supervises the validity of the elections according to the Constitution, has the right to disqualify candidates,

On EU-Iran relations

P.   whereas the Comprehensive Dialogue between the EU and Iran was suspended by Iran in December 2003 and no meeting within the framework of the EU–Iran Human Rights Dialogue has taken place since June 2004,

Q.   whereas the EU's relations with Iran in recent years have been based on a threefold approach characterised by negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, political dialogue and a human rights dialogue, and whereas these three aspects cannot be separated,

On the nuclear issue

1.  Reaffirms that the proliferation risks of the Iranian nuclear programme remain a source of serious concern to the EU and the international community, as expressed very clearly in UNSC Resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), and 1747 (2007); therefore regrets that Iran has still not complied with its international obligations to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities;

2.  Expresses its support for the EU's efforts to find a negotiated long-term solution on the nuclear issue with Iran and underlines the essential role to be played by the IAEA;

3.  Notes the progress made on the implementation of the IAEA-Iran work plan, and repeats its calls on Iran to restore the transparency of its nuclear programme by providing full, clear and credible answers to the IAEA, to resolve all outstanding issues and concerns on this programme, including topics which could have a military dimension, to fully implement the provisions of the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement including its subsidiary arrangements, and to ratify and implement the Additional Protocol;

4.  Reiterates its full support for the UNSC resolutions adopted under Article 41, Chapter VII of the UN Charter; endorses the above-mentioned European Council conclusions of 14 December 2007; welcomes the agreement reached at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the UNSC permanent members and Germany, as well as the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), at their meeting in Berlin on 22 January 2008 on a new draft resolution on Iran which foresees further measures and the fact that the international community maintains a common approach to the issue;

5.  Reiterates its position that a solution to the present nuclear escalation is possible and that no military action should be taken into consideration; expresses its support for Dr ElBaradei's efforts to solve all outstanding issues with Iran by March 2008; calls on the United States Administration and all other actors involved to renounce all rhetoric on military options and regime change policies against Iran;

6.  Notes the recent findings of the US NIE on the Iranian military and civilian nuclear programme; considers that these findings confirm the EU's policy of a two-track approach to convince Iran diplomatically to comply fully with the IAEA requests to abandon the potential military link to the civilian programme in a credible and controllable way;

7.  Urges Iran, therefore, to enter, without delay, into a new round of negotiations on the future direction of its nuclear programme and to suspend all enrichment-related activities; calls on the United States, following its diplomatic success in the negotiations with North Korea, to participate directly in negotiations with Iran along with the EU, since the United States is in a position to offer additional security guarantees, notably in a multilateral framework under the auspices of the IAEA in Vienna;

8.  Calls for credible multilateral nuclear disarmament steps through strengthening the NPT, and calls on the EU to take the lead in bringing the nuclear disarmament negotiations out of their current deadlock;

9.  Stresses the importance of cooperation with the United States, Russia, China and non-aligned countries in order to consider complementary concepts with a view to achieving a comprehensive agreement with Iran on its nuclear facilities and their use which takes account of Iran's security concerns;

10.  Considers that such a comprehensive agreement should help to achieve a sustainable regional security system comprising India, Pakistan and other nuclear powers, and believes that Iran should assume its responsibilities as a regional player;

11.  Calls on the international community to think seriously about and act urgently on the creation of a new multilateral framework for the utilisation of nuclear energy, guaranteeing supplies of nuclear fuel while minimising the risk of proliferation, as proposed by the IAEA;

On human rights

12.  Expresses its deep concern over the deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran during recent years; appeals to the Iranian authorities to honour their obligations in accordance with international human rights standards and instruments ratified by Iran, by promoting universal values and granting all persons the right to exercise their civil rights and political freedoms, and recalls its above-mentioned resolution of 25 October 2007 on the issue;

13.  Strongly condemns the death sentences and executions in Iran, in particular those imposed or carried out on juvenile offenders and minors, and urges the Iranian authorities to respect the internationally recognised legal safeguards with regard to minors, such as the International Convention on the Rights of the Child;

14.  Is deeply concerned about the dramatic increase in the repression of civil society movements in Iran over the past year; calls on the Iranian authorities to put an end to the harsh repression against women's rights defenders, activists of the 'one million signatures' campaign, student movements, minority rights defenders, intellectuals, teachers, journalists, web loggers and trade unionists - notably Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi - and calls for the release of all those who have been imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their convictions;

15.  Protests vehemently against the execution in Iran on 30 January 2008 at 4 am local time of the Ahwazi activist Zamel Bawi, the 19th Ahwazi activist executed in the last twelve months, and urges the Iranian government to desist from executing the Dutch citizen and human-rights activist Faleh Abdulah al-Mansouri and the UNHCR-registered refugees Rasoul Ali Mazrea and Said Saki, whose resettlement to Norway has been secured, as well as to allow them to proceed to their countries of citizenship or refuge; calls for the release of the Kurdish journalists Abdolvahed "Hiwa" Butimar and Adnan Hassanpour who have been sentenced to death;

16.  Urges the Iranian authorities to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of torture including extremely inhumane executions and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to uphold due process of law and end impunity for human rights violations; calls on the Iranian authorities to amend urgently the penal code in order to transform the moratorium on stoning into a definitive ban;

17.  Welcomes the above-mentioned UNGA resolution 62/149 calling for a global moratorium to be introduced as a step towards the abolition of the death penalty; calls on Iran to apply the recently adopted resolution on a moratorium on executions;

18.  Urges the Iranian authorities to respect internationally recognised legal safeguards with regard to persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities, recognised or otherwise; strongly condemns the current disrespect for minority rights and calls for minorities to be able to exercise all rights granted by the Iranian Constitution and international law; urges the Iranian authorities to act constitutionally and eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities, including, inter alia, Arabs, Azeris, Baluchs, Kurds, Baha'is, Christians, Jews, Sufis and Sunni Muslims; calls in particular for the de facto ban on practising the Baha'i faith to be lifted;

19.  Condemns the repression against political opponents, human rights defenders, journalists, web loggers, teachers, intellectuals, women, students, trade unionists, and persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities; urges the Iranian authorities to end the harassment, intimidation and persecution of these citizens, and to release unconditionally all prisoners of conscience;

20.  Calls on the Council and Commission to continue their examination of the human rights situation in Iran and to submit to Parliament in the first half of 2008 a comprehensive report on the matter, including proposals for projects that could be financed in the framework of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights;

21.  Expresses its support for all democratic political forces and for civil society, especially for the women's and students' associations which are campaigning non-violently in Iran, despite growing repression, for democracy and human rights;

22.  Expects the Iranian authorities to exercise their responsibility for the screening procedure of candidates for the upcoming national elections in such a way as to guarantee that they will be free and fair;

On EU-Iran relations

23.  Underlines that the possible future conclusion of a Cooperation and Trade Agreement between Iran and the EU depends on a substantial improvement in Iran's human rights situation as well as on Iran's full cooperation with the IAEA and objective guarantees regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme;

24.  Takes note of the decision of the British Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission of 30 November 2007 calling on the UK Home Secretary to remove the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran from the list of proscribed organisations immediately;

25.  Notes the judgment of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities of 12 December 2006(5);

26.  Calls on the Commission to submit a communication on the situation and the perspectives of EU-Iran relations and urges both sides to restart the human rights dialogue, in parallel with the negotiations for a Cooperation and Trade Agreement, which could be concluded if Iran makes the necessary progress in the field of human rights and on the nuclear issue;

27.  Calls on the Commission to establish a delegation in Iran in order to promote dialogue with the authorities and with civil society and to intensify contacts concerning, notably, aid to refugees and the fight against drug trafficking;

o   o

28.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the CFSP, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the Presidents of the UNSC, the UNGA and the UN Human Rights Council, the Director-General of the IAEA, the Head of the State Supreme Court of Iran, and the Government and Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

(1) OJ C 233 E, 28.9.2006, p. 111.
(2) OJ C 280 E, 18.11.2006, p. 468.
(3) OJ C 290 E, 29.11.2006, p. 145.
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0488.
(5) Case T-228/02,[2006] ECR II-4665.

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