Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-10-28-Speech-4-155"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that it is a good thing that the European Parliament should act to ensure that freedom and justice prevail, not only in Europe – since in our continent too there are some countries where even today, unfortunately, freedom is lacking – but also throughout the world. I think that this is one of our duties, one of our principal goals. Therefore, I consider it our duty to take a particular interest in those areas where there is the greatest risk of the most fundamental human rights not being respected. Iran is certainly one of these areas and we must therefore consider our commitment to this country to be an absolute priority. I would like to add, however, that recent reports have on more than one occasion proved to be totally contradictory. This leaves us with a picture of the current situation without any definite certainties. I say ‘definite certainties’, because we certainly have some idea already. In these last few days, the Iranian authorities have stated that the information in our documents does not correspond to the truth. On this point, naturally, I cannot be in total agreement, but it seems likely that a few inaccuracies have been included. I certainly do not believe that we should take what the Iranian authorities say as the gospel truth, as we know that in the past, and perhaps now too, this country has certainly not distinguished itself for its transparency and democracy. I believe, however, although this is perhaps not complying precisely with the rules of this Chamber, that it would now be wise to propose a postponement of the vote on this resolution. We should delay voting to another part-session, obviously not very far in the future, when we have succeeded in obtaining rather more accurate data. I do not intend, moreover, to call into question everything said by the Iranian embassy. In fact, the Iranian embassy sent a letter to our President Mr Borrell yesterday – I have a copy of it – following up on correspondence with Mrs Svensson, in which it contests the content of our resolutions. I had thought that it was still not clear whether the death penalty was still inflicted on minors in Iran. According to the Iranian authorities, though, it would seem that in the last two years all capital punishment of minors has been suspended. In view of this, therefore, I propose that the vote be postponed to a later date, and that meanwhile we listen again to the Iranian authorities in order to have a more precise picture and to be able to reflect on our vote more calmly and collectedly. In any case, if we proceed to a vote, the UEN Group will obviously vote in favour of this resolution, while I will abstain in the light of what I have just said."@en1

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