“Vidal-Quadras finds outrageous that the EU does not require from Iran an improvement in human rights” – EFE

avq efeMadrid, June 7 (EFE) .- The former vice president of the European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras has described today as “outrageous” that the EU talks with Iran economic and commercial ties and how to fight the Islamic State, but not human rights in the country, where “torture and executions” he said, still occur.

In an interview with Efe, Vidal-Quadras -who was MEP between 1999 and 2014- lamented that Europe has accepted uncritically the “seraphic” vision of thinking that, because they have reached an agreement on nuclear control, the Tehran regime has become treatable and has improved its human rights standard.

In July 2015 the Western powers, Russia and China reached an agreement with Iran to limit that country’s nuclear program, which many countries suspected was intended for military use.

Almost a year after that agreement and three after the election of Hassan Rouhani as president, Vidal-Quadras does not perceive changes in the regime nor improvements in the way of life of Iranians.

“There is a deep social unrest, the economy is controlled, there are delays in the paying of wages, inflation of 180 percent …” summarizes the politician to describe the “poor conditions” in which Iranians live, aggravated by the “brutality of the regime” which has 7,000 secret policemen charged with monitoring on their fellow citizens.

Vidal-Quadras does not understand either that Europe does not reconsider its policy regarding the Iranian opposition in exile represented by the National Council of the Resistance, based in France and led by Maryam Rajavi.

In the past, Europe included the NCRI in the list of terrorist organizations in order to “appease” the regime, but after last year’s agreement with Tehran the former MEP no longer sees reasons not to support them.

“It is a strategic mistake,” says Vidal-Quadras, who currently presides “In Search of Justice (ISJ)”, an international non-profit organization based in Brussels that promotes the protection of human rights and democracy and that counts with the support of parliamentarians from around the world.

In recent months ISJ has produced two reports on the internal situation in Iran and about the expansion of the Islamic State and how to confront it.

The former vice president of the European Parliament has referred to the connections between Iran and the Syrian conflict, since on both scenarios a “complex game in which the Islamic State is used indirectly” to support the Tehran regime and to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad is carried out.

“If Western governments believe that Iran can be used in their fight against ISIS, it is a naive view,” said Vidal-Quadras, because Tehran is not fully interested in the disappearance of ISIS.

He proposes a policy where, in parallel of the overthrowing of Assad, the moderate Syrian opposition is strengthened and the withdrawal of Iranian forces in Syria is achieved, which would allow the establishment of a government friendly to the West.

In his critique of the current European foreign policy, Vidal-Quadras believes that there is not a clear EU strategy, but that each country has its own line.

He denounces as well that, during a three-day stay in Iran in April, the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy of the EU Federica Mogherini was accompanied seven commissioners, and in those days ten executions took place.

“No one says anything about that. And if something has been done discreetly, of course it has had no effect,” laments Vidal-Quadras. EFE