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August 9, 2021 5:03 pm
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European Parliament Members Blast EU for Sending Diplomat to ‘Honor’ Inauguration of New Iranian President

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

EU Representative Enrique Mora seated behind Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ziad al-Nakhalah, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem at the inauguration of Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, on August 5, 2021. Photo: Twitter screenshot

A group of members of the European Parliament (MEP) have sent a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to express their strong disapproval over the decision to send a top EU representative to Tehran to last week’s inauguration of hardline Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi.

MEP David Lega and the eight other parliamentarians signing Monday’s letter raised concerns that the attendance of EU senior diplomat Enrique Mora could be regarded as the body “ignoring Iran’s violent and destabilizing regional policies.”

“Sending such senior representation to the inauguration of a president with such a dark record, at this sensitive time, contradicts European commitments to uphold and stand up for human rights,” the MEPs wrote.

The letter comes after Israeli officials and human rights activists criticized Mora’s presence, who was seated immediately behind senior leaders of the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups at Thursday’s inauguration ceremony.

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The MEPs described Raisi’s win as a “sham election” unsupported by millions of Iranian citizens, pointing to his “appalling record of personal responsibility for the most heinous of human rights abuses.”

“Raisi earned his reputation as the ‘Hangman of Tehran’ for his role in the execution of thousands of political prisoners and opponents in the late 1980s. He is personally sanctioned by the US government for his actions,” they lamented. “Honoring the inauguration of the ‘Hangman of Tehran’ only serves to encourage such behavior.”

“It seems even more incongruous given Mora’s senior role in coordinating the nuclear talks in Vienna. His presence risks giving the impression that the EU’s overwhelming concern is the nuclear agreement. While mass protests against the regime are taking place across Iran, the EU comes across as ignoring the voice of the Iranian people,” they added.

The MEP’s urged the EU to send to send a clear message to Iran that “Europe will not turn a blind eye either to human rights abuses or acts of terror and piracy, and that Iran will face consequences for its actions.”

Commenting on the letter, ELNET, a nonprofit organization focused on developing Europe-Israel ties, said, “We encourage Europe to speak out firmly against the Iranian aggression. For diplomacy to succeed it must be backed by significant disincentives in the face of Iranian brinkmanship. Iran’s behavior is a direct affront to Europe, which is clearly demonstrating the good will required for a diplomatic solution, and should be countered as such. Failing to provide such a response would only encourage Iran to escalate its violations to even more dangerous levels.”

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