Home Perspectives Opinions Ben-Dat: Why doesn’t the European Union take a stand against Iran?

Ben-Dat: Why doesn’t the European Union take a stand against Iran?

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View of Yazd, Iran
View of Yazd, Iran

Although under-reported by the media, it is noteworthy that the government of Canada introduced a resolution to censure Iran at the United Nations in December.

The resolution condemned the theocratic regime for its ongoing disregard of the human rights of its own citizens, including the widespread practice of arbitrary detentions and the “imposition of the death penalty against persons who at the time of their offence were under the age of 18.” Some 40 international human rights advocacy groups supported the Canadian initiative.

The vote in the General Assembly was decisive: 85 countries voted in favour of the Canadian-sponsored resolution, 30 opposed it and 68 abstained.

One of the reasons the resolution received so much support is because of Iran’s relentless persecution of religious minorities and ordinary citizens who are determined to assert their civil rights. According to World Watch Monitor, nearly 150 Iranian Christians have been pulled off the streets, detained, arrested, interrogated and then warned “not to proselytize.” In addition to the small Christian community, Sunni and Sufi Muslims, Zoroastrians, Baha’is and Jews are also closely watched by the regime.

The geopolitical context for the resolution against Iran is even more disconcerting.

Israel recently announced the discovery of a series of sophisticated tunnels built by Iran’s surrogate forces, Hezbollah, along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Unlike the mostly single-width Hamas tunnels from Gaza into southern Israel, Hezbollah’s tunnels are wider and sturdier, specifically intended for the infiltration of large numbers of fighters into the northern Galilee to seize Israeli communities and undoubtedly slaughter their residents.

Overseeing the construction of the northern tunnels is part of Iran’s acknowledged strategy of genocide, along with its recognized leadership as the world’s foremost state denier of the Holocaust and its insidious efforts to convert Hezbollah’s large missile arsenal in Lebanon into more deadly precision-guided weapons. Iran’s rulers aspire to eliminate Israel, which they describe as a “cancerous tumour” in the region.

In addition to the Iranian leadership’s single-minded obsession with killing all the Jews in Israel, they also plot anti-Western violence around the world. The U.S. Department of State says that Iran spends nearly $1 billion a year to support terrorism worldwide and calls it  “the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror.”

It is commendable that Canada is endeavouring to hold Iran to account at the United Nations. Also commendable are the United States’ efforts to limit Iran’s ability to build a nuclear arsenal and to curb its spread of global terror.

But where is the rest of the West?

The fact that Tehran has not been outcast – at least by the civilized, democratic world – for its brazen, macabre embrace of genocide as foreign policy is astonishing and outrageous.

Even worse is that the European Union – led by Germany and France – panders to Tehran, to ensure an uninterrupted flow of commerce. In fact, these two countries have actually established a system of monetary credits to facilitate trade with Iran.

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British journalist Melanie Phillips argues that, “The Europeans’ eagerness to continue to trade with Iran is disgusting.… It should simply be unconscionable to trade with Iran. Yet the Europeans are bending every sinew to continue to do so.”

Italian journalist Giulio Meotti describes European behaviour in more historical and starker terms: “Europe’s leaders are again gambling with the security of their own citizens as well as that of their Middle East allies, especially Israel. Today’s short-sighted effort by Europe to appease Tehran for profit is simply a replica of its 1938 (‘Peace in our time’) surrender.”

Iran’s scheming against Israel is but a first foray in a grander theological scheme against the freedom-loving, liberty-minded West.