European Report at EP in BrusselsBrussels, February 17th, 2016 – ECI has issued a statement calling on EU leaders to remain vigilant about Iranian nuclear ambitions as the international community reopens trade relations with the Islamic republic.  The statement was made in the televised monthly programme, “The European Report”, which was recorded in the European Parliament on Tuesday, just a few hours after the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had addressed the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.

On Monday, Iranian NGOs and citizens human rights activists testified in the European Parliament about the continuous executions and other human rights violations by the Iranian regime, while the West is enthusiastically re-establishing its trade relations with Iran and as it releases some 100 billions of previously frozen Iranian assets.

Iran remains the largest sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East financing terrorist groups such as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Both these terrorist groups are committed to the destruction of Israel, as is the Islamic state of Iran.

“The EU is violating its most central values and principles by lifting the sanctions off a totalitarian regime which is openly committed to the destruction of Israel,” Tomas Sandell said in the programme.

The same concern was expressed by the co-panellist, MEP Lars Adaktusson, who in a separate statement accused the Iranian Foreign Minister of calling for “peace and stability in the region” while at the same time continuing to cause bloodshed and misery by supporting the Assad regime in Syria and terrorist groups across the region. Apart from Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran also supports the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

ECI welcomes Chancellor Angela Merkel’s commitment that “Germany will not normalize its relations with Iran unless or until it recognizes Israel” and hopes that Germany’s example will be followed by other European leaders too. The statement was made on Tuesday during a governmental meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin.

The Iran nuclear deal was a framework agreement reached in 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5 + 1 group of world leaders, despite repeated warnings from Israel and other Western allies in the region regarding the disastrous consequences of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

ECI has consistently objected to a nuclear deal with Iran as long as its leaders stay committed to the destruction of Israel.  In July 2015, ECI took part in a mass rally in Geneva ahead of the nuclear talks in opposition to the agreement and it will continue to monitor the situation and hold Iran’s leaders accountable to the principles and values of the UN Charter as a permanent Member state.

“The UN Charter calls for its members to live in peace with fellow Member states and calling for the destruction of another UN Member state is a clear breach of these commitments. This needs to be addressed urgently both by the European Union and the United Nations,” Sandell stated.

An ECI delegation will make an official visit to New York next week where they plan to raise these concerns also with the UN authorities.