During the recent widespread anti-regime protests in Iran, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi was receiving medical treatment in Germany and, in response, human rights activists and former political prisoners launched a campaign demanding his arrest for crimes against humanity, including during the Kooye Daneshgah confrontation.

In 1999, while Shahroudi was chief justice, Iranian university students began a peaceful protest against the closure of Salam newspaper and the Regime’s campaign against dissidents.

In response, fundamentalist right-wing group Ansar-e-Hezbollah turned up on campuses to violently beat students, which soon turned into a six-day uprising in which more than 1,400 students were arrested. The violent assailants were acquitted and just one low-ranking soldier was sentenced in a sham trial.

Yet, Shahroudi was allowed to return to Iran without comment from Germany.

Most people associate Europe with human rights, but their attitude towards human rights in Iran is oft coloured by trade deals and this is not the first time.

In February 2017, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, leader of the “first feminist government”, brought a trade delegation to Iran, which included 11 women.

All of these women wore hijabs during a meeting with the all-male Iranian officials. The trouble is that Iran routinely punishes Iranian women for not dressing “modestly”, including having the “morality police” beat a 14-year-old girl for wearing ripped jeans just a week before the feminist Swedish government arrived.

Even if that news hadn’t reached the Swedish government by then, Iran’s record on women’s rights is horrifying, from discrimination in matters of marriage, divorce, and child custody to receiving half the inheritance of their male family members to not being allowed to obtain a passport or travel without written permission from their husbands.

Even now, as the campaign against compulsory hijab has led to multiple arrests and the threat of up to 10 years in prison, Sweden has yet to offer its support to these women.

So why do European countries, even those who are trying to obtain the release of their own dual nationals held on bogus charges in Iranian jails, still work with the Regime on trade?

Simply, the answer is money.

Shortly after Shahroudi left Germany, a final agreement was signed for Mercedes Benz vehicles to be produced in Iran from March. If Germany had arrested Shahroudi, there is no doubt that this deal would have fallen through.

And make no mistake, these trade deals are not helping the Iranian people. Skyrocketing prices and high unemployment forced the Iranian people to the streets earlier this year and will doubtless do so again.

The real beneficiaries are the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a militia that controls most of the economy, and the terrorist groups that it supports, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis.

Western leaders must stop ignoring systemic oppression in Iran in exchange for profit or they are as guilty as the mullahs themselves.

Source » ncr-iran