There have been no positive changes in the behavior of this theocratic regime nine months after the EU foreign ministers' session in Luxembourg in April 1997, which followed the findings by a Court in Berlin implicating the clerical regime's leaders in the assassination of Iranian dissidents. On the contrary, the regime has escalated its repression inside and terrorism outside Iran.
At least 200 executions took place in Iran last year, 70% in the last six months under Khatami. At least seven cases of stoning have been reported in the past six months. Social protests and student demonstrations in various parts of the country have been suppressed. At least 24 Iranian dissidents have been assassinated abroad in the past eight months. The clerical regime is vigorously endeavoring to obtain weapons of mass destruction and has tested missiles with a range of 1,400-kms. Khatami's government officials have time and again emphasized the need to carry out the fatwa to murder Salman Rushdie and advocated enmity to peace. These lay bare but part of the criminal record of Iran's clerical regime since Khatami took office.
In such circumstances, speaking of a "moderate President" who has demonstrated willingness for rapprochement or remarks like "in light of the new circumstances, a general boycott will not be suitable" have no basis in reality and merely forsake the principles of human rights before short-term economic interests. Beset by internal feuding and confronted by growing popular resistance, Iran's ruling mullahs are weaker as never before. Any investment in this regime is therefore doomed to fail.
There are no moderates in the mullahs' medieval regime. All the regime's internal factions have common interests in repression and export of terrorism. Khatami's hollow gestures are but demagogy by a crisis-riddled regime to obtain economic concessions and room to maneuver to continue its past policies. In his speech on January 20 at Khomeini's Mausoleum, Khatami reiterated: "Khomeini's spirit is alive. We will continue to tread along Khomeini's path... We will persevere to do so."
The spirit of the EU decisions last April in Luxembourg and the record of conduct of the theocratic regime ruling Iran, make it imperative that the European Union adopt more serious measures to impose sanctions as well as trade and diplomatic restrictions on the mullahs' regime.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 27, 1998