Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-12-12-Speech-3-250"

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"Mr President, I feel that this is a balanced report on a complex subject. Its merit is that it lists the signals of progressive opening-up coming from Iran, particularly from its people, who, in the last elections, quite clearly expressed their desire for a policy of economic, social and political reform. However, at the same time, the ultimate point of reference for us, for the European Union and for Parliament must be respect for human rights. In this sense, I think we can say to the rapporteur that we do not support some of the amendments he has submitted for the perusal of this plenary in that they seem to be inspired by excessive indulgence in the area of human rights, an area in which we must never make any concessions. Of course, the Iranian Government has condemned the violence of the destruction which took place on 11 September in New York; of course, it declared its willingness to discuss human rights issues – we welcome that just as we welcome the way that women too have been able to resume their role in the course of recent years in institutions and in schools and university education, and also the Iranian Government’s responsible endeavours to help stabilise the region. However, certain facts remain, such as the unfulfilled expectations of Iranian society and the international community regarding the abolition of torture, the abolition of the death penalty, the abolition of the special religious courts and press courts and the abolition of particularly degrading and humiliating punishments. I believe our task is to encourage the democratic forces, civil society and the many women and students who feel that, in the struggle between theocracy and democracy, it is possible for democracy to prevail. We need to urge the Iranian Government to fully respect the mandate it has received from its people. Lastly, we must promote political dialogue between the European Union and Iran. In this sense, we are in favour of sending an delegation to Iran and we hope, in particular, that the European Union will be able to play a full, useful political role to help Iran find its own path to democracy as soon as possible. I feel, Mr President, that it is never our place to judge. Encouragement and persuasion are part of the spirit of this report and must also characterise the way the European Union reinvigorates its relationship with Iran in the future."@en1

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