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Jack Straw should not appease Iran's mullahs

We regret very much former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw MP for his apparent appeasement of the atrocious ayatollahs in Iran.

After returning from Tehran from his 6th trip, Mr Straw said: "This never has been a oneman dictatorship.

It's not a classic Western democracy by any means but there's a very lively political situation which President Rouhani has to navigate."

He admitted that his delegation had neither met nor wanted to meet any Iranian dissidents. He said: "We didn't want to, to be honest. It wasn't on the agenda. We were not in the business of making gestures. We were in the business of seeking to establish trust and good relations with people who want trust and good relations with us."

The Foreign Office and Parliament should not accept Mr Straw's apparently limited concern for the murderous mullahs. Amnesty International said on 17 January Iran had carried out 40 executions since the beginning of 2014, with at least 33 carried out in one week alone.

"The Iranian authorities' attempts to change their international image are meaningless if at the same time executions continue to increase", Amnesty said, adding: "The reality in Iran is that people are being ruthlessly sentenced to death after unfair trials, and this is unacceptable."

While Foreign Secretary, Mr Straw lobbied the international community to believe Iran's claim that it was not after nuclear weapons and would suspend uranium enrichment activities. And he persuaded the EU to arbitrarily blacklist the main Iranian opposition group, a listing revoked by the European Court of Justice.

While Mr Rouhani later bragged about how he had fooled the West into believing Iran had suspended uranium enrichment, Iranian centrifuges continue to spin producing near weapons grade uranium. And Iran's Supreme Leader has sent the notorious Quds Force to suppress Syrian people and the opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and carry out terrorist activities in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. Mr Straw's wrong assessment and approach only emboldened the mullahs to further suppress the people and pursue their nuclear and terrorist activities.

The senior Iranian MP, Shahin Mohammad Sadeghi, said that the Iranian parliament had set preconditions for the British MPs and their programme in Iran had been scheduled in coordination with the Iranian authorities. Mr Straw should not have visited Iran under such restrictions.

Our Foreign Office and Parliament should be wary of Mr Straw's lobbying for Tehran to restrict the Iranian Resistance.

Mr Straw is seen by Iranian victims as ignoring the suffering of 80 million Iranians. Shaking hands with their torturers and hangmen, and appearing to promote their interests, runs the risk of being misunderstood as promoting a terrorist regime which is the number one barrier to world peace.

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom 20 January 2014

ENDS

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