MEP: It is necessary that EU holds door open for negotiations with Iran

MEP: It is necessary that EU holds door open for negotiations with Iran

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 22 / Trend T. Konyayeva /

The new sanctions are means of diplomatic pressure but are not a substitute for a broader EU-Iran policy therefore it is necessary that the EU will be open for further negotiations with Iran, said Barbara Lochbihler, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Iran.

"It is necessary that the EU holds the door open for negotiations," Lochbihler said in an interview with Trend. "We must explore possibilities for cooperation in other fields to rebuild mutual confidence."

UN Security Council adopted a new resolution to stop Iran's nuclear program on June, 9. 12 members of the UN Security Council voted for the resolution number 1929. This is the fourth resolution adopted by the UN Security Council for Tehran's reluctance to comply with international requirements concerning the clarification of several issues of the world community over the Iranian nuclear program, including the existence of the military component.

Lochbihler said the European sanctions are aimed at the Iranian leadership to bring them back to serious and detailed negotiations on the nuclear dossier.

"These "smart sanctions" aimed at the assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and are not designed to make life more difficult for the people," she said.

The IRGC is the Iranian elite unit created from the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Committees and supporters of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini in 1979. Many, who come from the IRGC, are represented in the government and their number increases.

The IRGC is the real power in society, which is represented not only in the administration, but also in financial and commercial sectors. The IRGC has extensive economic interests in the field of armaments, construction and oil and gas industry.

According to Lochbihler, the European Union is against broad sanctions which would affect the population like for example the suspension of fuel delivery.

"These new sanctions which are intended to target at the security-industrial complex of the regime will not have an impact on the broader population," she said.

The U.S. and other Western countries accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons for military purposes under the guise of peaceful nuclear energy program. Tehran denies the charges, saying that its nuclear program is aimed solely at meeting the country's electricity needs.

Among those who can be affected by new sanctions Lochbihler mentioned the people working in companies belonging to the economically influential IRGC.

"Revolutionary Guards have great economic power and if their companies are hit, it also affects the people who work there," she said.

Lochbihler believes the Iranian government could use the imposed sanctions to explain the cut of subsidies of staples and the bad economical situation.

"But I hope that the Iranians will understand that this is a policy mainly to distract from domestic problems," she said.

Lochbihler is sure Europe has to continue its dialogue and support of the civil-society.

"It is necessary to show the people in Iran that Europe is not only interested in the nuclear issue but also in the people and their human rights. We have to express our solidarity with the people in Iran who are risking every day their lives for basic democratic and human right," she said.

According to Lochbihler, it is necessary to criticize the Iranian regime at every occasion for the breach of International Conventions on human rights and the misuse of the power.

"But the change at least has to come from inside the country," she said.

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