Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

MEPs' condemnation of Iranian president is too little too late

16th November 2005

STRASBOURG, 16 November 2005 -- Plans for a hard-hitting resolution on Iran's human rights record and alleged nuclear proliferation have been watered down by MEPs in an attempt to appease the regime, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman in the European Parliament Charles Tannock MEP said today.

Dr Tannock said just restricting the scope of the resolution to President Ahmadinejad's call to 'wipe Israel off the world map' was a wasted opportunity to highlight Iran's apparent determination to make a nuclear bomb and its widespread human rights abuses, including the regular execution of consenting homosexuals and others who commit acts branded by the regime as 'crimes of sexual chastity'.

He said President Ahmadinejad's comments about Israel - made three weeks ago - had already been condemned stridently and unreservedly by all major political leaders in Europe and beyond. Dr Tannock said another round of denunciation by MEPs served no useful purpose.

The MEP, who was asked to draft the resolution on behalf of the EPP-ED, said he was so frustrated by the weakness of the compromise text that he refused to support it.

Dr Tannock said:

"The resolution on the table is considerably watered down from what I originally drafted on behalf of the EPP-ED Group.

"Adding another few voices to the deluge of condemnation over the Iranian president's comments serves no useful purpose.