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European Parliament says views human rights talks with Iran a positive development

The European Parliament said it considers Iran`s readiness to enter into a human rights dialogue with no preconditions is a positive development with a view to the normalization of relations between the EU and Iran, IRNA reported from Brussels.

In its annual report on human rights in the world in 2002, the EP called on the Iranian Government to receive the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression and on Violence against Women at the earliest possible date.

It considered that the visits of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in February 2003, and of the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, arranged for June 2003, to Iran "are a positive development, provided that their recommendations are implemented."

Under the report, the EP calls on the European Council and the European Commission and the Iranian authorities to ensure that all relevant international and Iranian NGOs, as well as EP member states and Iranian MPs are included in the Round Table of the EU-Iran human rights dialogue, in order to benefit from human rights expertise. The report says that a failure of the human rights dialogue with Iran would have a direct impact on the negotiations on the trade and cooperation agreement.

It calls on the Council to deepen the discussions, in the context of the Round Table of the human rights dialogue with Iran, on the rights of minorities, on the death penalty, on corporal punishments, and on freedom of association.

The report takes note of the de facto moratorium on the imposition of sentences to death by stoning in Iran and urges the Iranian government definitively to abolish this practice.

It calls on the Commission to ensure continuity of networking, funding for coordination and follow-up of the human rights dialogues` round tables, and to support the establishment of a permanent pool of human rights experts in the countries concerned, as a contribution to building up valuable human rights expertise.

... Payvand News - 9/5/03 ... --

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