Shirzad Kamangar

Shirzad Kamangar

Few days ago, the European Parliament put forward a 51 points Resolution with a view to normalization and improvement of relations with Iran, which was ratified with 457 votes in favor and 174 against. In brief, the content of the Resolution can be categorized into four major parts: 1. nuclear agreement, 2. commercial ties, 3. solution to regional issues, and 4. democracy and human rights.

With the ratification of this Resolution, a wave of politicians and diplomats along with a wide range of commercial units and companies have flowed to Iran. Needless to say, prior to the ratification the Scandinavian countries had already entered into large-scale economic relations with Iran.

The avowed rationale for the ratification of the Resolution, its condition, and its repercussion merit consideration. In view of the current regional crises and the pressures that had been brought to bear on Iran prior to the nuclear deal, this Resolution epitomizes a volt-face change in Western policies vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. Due to the fact that the Iranian regime, in every single aspect, is the one that had not long ago been considered by Wester countries as the sponsor of terrorism, and it has not changed its course of conducts, the question is: Why has such a Resolution, which completely serves the interests of the Islamic Republic, been authorized? A more important question raises over the identity of the Iranian institution which stroke such commercial deal.

Accordingly, the intention behind this Resolution is the enhancement of commercial relations in the spheres of industry, oil, gas, petrochemical, industrial machineries, agricultural and motor industries etc. As long as all of these spheres are dominated and run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), it can be argued that the Iranian side which cut the deal with the West is those guys who are in the black list of the majority of Western countries. Beyond this, some of them are even under prosecution at the international level for sponsoring and engaging in terrorist activities.

A question that may raise here is: Do these Western countries really know who were their side in this deal? Provided they don’t, when the negotiations reached the stage of authorization, the Western powers, principally, should have learnt the identity of the Iranian’s negotiators. According to European Union regulations, then, they should have declined to sign the pact once they realised they were dealing with the IRGC. Or, if they had already known with whom they were cutting a deal, it means that their leniency towards the IRGC has reached the stage of capitulation and bowing down to an organisation that still bears the stamp of engaging in and sponsoring terrorism.

Another part of the Resolution is focused on the regional security particularly Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, considering them as loci of crises and much of the conflict and hostility. It is not hidden from any observer that Iran, with the deployment of its IRGC, has had a strong presence in these regions. In dealing with this issue, also, there has been a significant shift in the approach of Western countries towards Iran.

Only in the last few months, the Islamic Republic had been considered not only as part of the conflict in the region, but also as chief factor in the regional instability, causing Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia into reaction. In the Resolution the role of Iran has all of the sudden been changed; not only Iran is not the causal factor of the violence and instability, but it has been represented as one the main regional actors well capable of solving the crises.

It seems that, under the pretext of solving the regional crises and with a view to finding a new way to interfere in the region, Western friends and foes have completely changed. Under the pretext of finding a way out of the regional crises, Western powers have conferred legitimacy on the Islamic Republic of Iran and particularly on the IRGC, as if a fresh wave of interference in the Middle East required new allies whom had very recently been on the opposite side.

In order to know the reality of Western powers, which is not hidden to any impartial observer, one should evaluate that section of the Resolution devoted to the issues of democracy and human rights. The Resolution regards the Islamic Republic’s Parliament as an institution which strives for reform and change, while considering the election of the deputies, the composition of the seats, and the Assembly of Expert as the reflection of the will of Iranian peoples. It does not mention the truth that there are not free elections in Iran. Neither does it comment on the fact that the filter of the Assembly of Experts exclusively allows the passage of candidates loyal to the system. This means that a rampant oppression of the true oppositions and of the peoples’ voices are in place. Therefore, no “election” in the Islamic Republic can reflect the will of Iran’s peoples. In this historical juncture, if they deem it necessary, Western officials seem to fabricate a humane and democratic image for the Islamic regime of Iran.

The Resolution calls upon all European countries to take into consideration the principals of human rights when developing commercial ties with Iran. Yet in the same segment, although it highlights some cases of human rights violation, it ignores many other cases. For instance, it does not pay the slightest attention to several nationalities, or according to the dominant nation-state view, the ethnic (national) minorities.

Moreover, the European Parliament has specifically emphasised the importance of the revocation of the capital punishment for drug convicts, yet it has curiously ignored the execution of political prisoners. It seems that it has no whatsoever objection to the continuous execution of prisoners of conscience or even deems it legitimate.

In light of the above mentioned points, this Resolution is of importance from few aspect: The ratification of the Resolution in current conditions serves the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran. If it is put into effect, it will not only confer legitimacy on the entirety of the Islamic Republic, but also on the IRGC; an organisation regarded as one of the sponsor of terrorism, serving as the main tool of the Islamic regime in its internal and external crimes. The sole outcome of this legitimacy would be another round of crackdown, suppression, and terror on Iran’s various nationalities, political dissents, and feminists.