Brussels wants US to engage Iran
Sunday, January 16, 2005
LONDON, Jan 16 (IranMania) - A senior European Union official yesterday urged the Bush administration to join the EU in adopting a policy of engagement with regard to Iran, a view that has received unusual endorsement from a Washington group of prominent hawks and neoconservatives, FT reported.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the new EU external relations commissioner, said she was asking the US to adopt a "complementary approach".
On a day of meetings in Washington, she said: "Mutual cooperation is essential."
Meanwhile, the European Union was pleased at the positive atmosphere seen at revived trade talks with Iran held this week, an EU official said Friday. But comments by a top Iranian official on the country's nuclear drive were less well received, the official said on condition of anonymity.
"The Iranians showed themselves to be very engaged, very interested, the tone was very good," she told AFP. "What was important for these two days was the tone, not the substance."
The discussions with a 12-person Iranian delegation headed by a senior Foreign Ministry official took place on Wednesday for trade and economic cooperation, and covered political questions on Thursday.
Kurdish journalist Shamzin Jihad sentenced in Iran
The Kurdish National Congress of North America condemns the arrest, imprisonment, and sentencing of Shamzin Jihad, a Kurdish journalist in Iran.
The Iranian government continues its prosecution of Kurds who dare to express their ethnic identity. Amnesty International reports, Judicial authorities curtailed freedoms of expression, opinion and association, including of ethnic minorities; scores of publications were closed, Internet sites were filtered and journalists were imprisoned. In the same report, it is stated that most executions were carried out against the Kurdish minority, often in public. Numerous reports of this kind demonstrate that the Iranian congress continues to criminalize the most basic human rights and that the Iranian judicial system is completely lacking the desire and ability to apply the most basic human laws.
Shamzin Jihads sentencing in the city of Mahabat is an example of how the Iranian regime criminalizes any and all expressions of Kurdish identity. The governments case is based on her declaration that she is a Kurd and that she refers to her place of birth as Kurdistan. In this age of free speech and human rights, Ms. Jihads commitment to her true identity should be celebrated and not punished. We are prepared to support her through this ordeal and to bring to the worlds attention the continued injustices the Iranian regime is committing against the Kurds.
The Kurdish National Congress calls on the Iranian government to immediately release the Kurdish journalist Shamzin Jihad, stop the unjust policies against the Kurdish people in Kurdistan of Iran, adhere to United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights respecting freedom of opinion and expression, and to commit to principles of the Charter of the United Nations, article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizing that all peoples have the right of self-determination.
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