European Parliament calls for sanctions against Iran's human rights abuses

Written by: Bno
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Brussels, Feb 2: The European Parliament on Tuesday called for new sanctions to combat Iran's human rights abuses following the execution of a woman.

On Jan 29, Iran executed Dutch-Iranian citizen Sarah Bahrami in Tehran. The execution was firmly condemned by Foreign Affairs Committee Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).MEPs voted in favor of a resolution on the future European Union relations with Iran. In the resolution, the parliament condemned the lack of consular access to Bahrami as well as the failure of Iranian authorities in ensuring a transparent and fair judicial process.

The resolution drafted by Bastiaan Belder also called on EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Catherine Ashton to raise the cases of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Zahra Bahrami with the Iranian authorities.

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs agreed that the EU must devise a new, broader, strategy towards Iran, beyond the controversial nuclear program and addressing human rights abuses in the Islamic nation.

The resolution also urged EU foreign ministers to impose sanctions targeting Iranian officials responsible for serious human rights abuses since the 2009 elections in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected as president.

According to EU data, the number of executions in Iran in 2009 was the highest in the last decade. This data indicates that Iran is the country with the highest number of executions per capita in the world.

The resolution, approved in committee with 62 votes in favor, 3 against and 2 abstentions, is to be put to a plenary vote at the March plenary session in Strasbourg.

The committee also proposed additional sanctions on Iran's nuclear program due to the continuing refusal to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the Iranian government.


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