The European Parliament yesterday passed a resolution which included condemnation of Iran’s calls to destroy Israel and its denial of the Holocaust.
The resolution included a late amendment suggested by Dutch Liberal Member of Parliament (MEP) Marietje Schaake, which read that the house “strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s repeated calls for the destruction of Israel and the regime’s policy of denying the Holocaust”. Just last month, during a massive display of military hardware, Iran threatened to turn two Israelis cities “into dust”. The amendment was supported by 590 in favour, 67 against and 36 abstentions.
The vote itself was called to approve a report by UK Labour MEP Richard Howitt, titled “EU Strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement,” which outlines steps towards the normalisation of the EU’s relations with Iran in the wake of last year’s nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany). The nuclear deal outlines the lifting of EU sanctions on Iran in return for a thorough scaling back of Tehran’s uranium enrichment for at least ten years.
During the debate on Howitt’s report some MEPs had expressed disappointment that it did not include reference to Iran’s human rights violations, Tehran’s steadfast support for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad or Iran’s backing for terror groups in the Middle East. Iran provides large-scale financial and material support to Hezbollah, which is classified as a terror group by the EU.
European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor praised yesterday’s resolution, saying: “It is essential to couple Iran’s extremism, Holocaust denial and call for genocide with its nuclear program and relations with the international community.”
However, according to the Tehran Times, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi welcomed the approval of Howitt’s report, saying: “This move depicts the European Parliament’s determination for expansion of ties with Tehran.”