Embargoed until 17thOctober 2015


A former MEP has sharply criticized the President of the European Parliament – Martin Schulz – over his planned visit to Iran. Addressing a major conference in Istanbul, Struan Stevenson said: “Iran is a deeply corrupt country. Its fascist leadership thrives on oppression. Its main export is terror. Its religious minorities are victims of constant persecution. They face arbitrary detention, torture, unfair trials and extrajudicial executions, as well as the destruction of their cemeteries and holy places. Women are treated as an inferior species and regularly abused and repressed by the misogynist mullahs. Many young women have been blinded and disfigured in acid attacks condoned by the State simply for the offence of not wearing their veil properly. Martin Schulz postponed a visit to Tehran last weekend after he received a joint letter of protest signed by over 100 MEPs and 18 political prisoners imprisoned in Iran. But he says he still intends to go. By planning to visit Tehran while failing in the past to highlight their appalling record of human rights abuse, Schulz will simply embolden the mullahs and become an unwitting tool of their propaganda machine.”

Stevenson also criticized the recent nuclear deal with Iran stating: “Ending sanctions on the Iranian regime and releasing over $150 billion of assets that were previously frozen will simply revitalize the Iranian economy and ensure this evil regime’s survival, while the West gets virtually nothing but empty promises in return. This is a windfall for a regime whose biggest export is terror; a regime which funds Hizbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, Bashir al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the brutal Shi’ite militias in Iraq. It is a windfall for the mullahs’ nuclear programme, which far from being suspended, will now be accelerated and it is a windfall for Iran’s expanding ballistic missile programme, which has intercontinental missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and striking targets in Israel, Saudi Arabia or even Europe. By signing the agreement with Iran, I believe we have missed a unique opportunity to topple a rogue nation and restore peace and stability to the region.” 

Stevenson told the Istanbul conference organised by the Umayya Center for Research & Strategic Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) that there is a credible Opposition movement waiting in the wings to take over power from the evil mullahs in Iran. He said: “The People’s Mojahedin's of Iran (PMOI) and their inspirational leader Mrs Maryam Rajavi are ready to restore democracy, justice, human rights and women’s rights in Iran. They will ban nuclear weapons, end the death penalty and separate church and state. Theirs is a vision of freedom and liberty for the oppressed millions in Iran. It is a vision that they have fought and died for. President Obama, Martin Schulz and Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian opposition and the beleaguered Iranian people who want an end to the theocratic fascist regime that has tortured, executed and oppressed them for the past thirty-six years under their perverted version of Islam. Instead of that they continue to rub shoulders with the smiling murderer Rouhani. They should hang their heads in shame.”

Struan Stevenson, who was a Conservative MEP representing Scotland in the European Parliament from 1999 until his retirement in 2014 and was President of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014, said:Obama, Schulz and Mogherinishould remember the words of Winston Churchill who famously said of appeasement: "There is no greater mistake than to suppose that platitudes, smooth words, and timid policies offer a path to safety."

Note:Struan Stevenson is President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). He was addressing a conference on ‘MINORITY RIGHTS IN IRANIAN SOCIETY - Human Rights Abuse & EU Reaction’ organised by the Umayya Center for Research & Strategic Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) on Saturday 17th- Sunday 18thOctober 2015, in Istanbul, Turkey.