European Union External Action

Iran: Speech on behalf of High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on the case of Ahmadreza Djalali at the EP Debate

Strasbourg, 08/07/2021 - 15:45, UNIQUE ID: 210708_16
HR/VP speeches

Speech delivered by Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability, and Capital Markets Union

Check against delivery!

Thank you Madam President, honourable Members of the European Parliament,

The European Union policy towards Iran is based on a comprehensive approach, critical in all areas of concern and cooperative when there is mutual interest.

The European Union has a longstanding and clear position on Iran’s distressing practice of arbitrarily detaining EU-Iranian dual nationals. No individual should be used as a pawn.

The European Union has been following the case of Swedish-Iranian national Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali very closely. Since his detention in Iran in April 2016, where he subsequently received a death sentence.

Iran executes more than 200 individuals every year, including juvenile offenders, dissidents and protestors. Our position is well known: the European Union strongly opposes the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances and aims at its universal abolition. As part of its commitment to address all issues of concern with Iran, the European Union continues to urge the Iranian authorities to pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of capital punishment, which represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

Moreover, it is imperative for the Iranian authorities to uphold the due process rights of accused individuals, and to stop the practice of televised confessions. As part of the bilateral engagement with Iran, the European Union also calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that no individual is detained arbitrarily, and that those who are under any form of detention or imprisonment are not subject to any form of mistreatment.

The High Representative/Vice-President [Josep Borrell] and the [European] External Action Service continue to use every opportunity to advocate for Dr. [Ahmadreza] Djalali’s release in the dialogue at all levels with the Iranian authorities. We also maintain a close coordination with the Swedish government and other European Union Member States, as part of a coordinated European Union action.

We welcomed the decision of the Iranian authorities to move Dr. [Ahmadreza] Djalali out of solitary confinement in April 2021, after more than 20 weeks. However, as the death sentence still stands, we have strengthened the coordination with the Swedish authorities and the European Union Member States with embassies on the ground in Iran.

Dr. [Ahmadreza] Djalali’s permanent release remains the driver of the European Union action. And we will continue to work towards achieving his release by taking all available European Union tools, including sanctions, into account.

In this spirit, and in full consistency with the European Union comprehensive policy towards Iran, we will continue to call for the release of all EU-Iranian dual nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran, so they can be reunited with their families.

Thank you.

Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-208755