PEJOURNAL – Speaking in an interview an expert on human rights said: The EU sanctions system is now more coherent and strict than in the past. Of course, the human rights gesture of the Union has always existed, and today the sanctions system has become more cohesive, its scope has been expanded and it has become more independent.
Regarding the double standards of the EU, he explained: The issue of human rights is not original for the Europeans; that is to say, if we look at the EU 2016 Global Strategy document, they have used the term ‘principle-based pragmatism’, which means that for Brussels the basis is pragmatism, not principles.
He added: Political, economic and security pragmatism is therefore prioritized over the principles that include human rights and any other European value.
The expert noted: In this document, it has been mentioned implicitly that sometimes in order to avoid formation of undesirable social outcomes, values can be given less importance or the emphasis on values can be set aside.
He explained: In Bahrain, for example, if the support for democracy and human rights leads to the strengthening of the pro-Iranian Shiites and increases Iran’s influence in the region, in the EU view, democracy and human rights can be ignored for the time being, because the output created for the Europeans is an undesirable output.
He stressed: Therefore, an important part of the dual European standard stems from the notion that the Europeans give priority to their practical interests rather than values. Under such a situation, in a place like Bahrain, Europe’s political-security interests take precedence over values, but in a country like Saudi Arabia, because the Shiites are not very powerful, the discussion over economic interests takes precedence.
He cited Qatar as a more specific example, saying, In Qatar, about 5,000 workers lost their jobs due to difficult conditions to prepare for the World Cup. Important clubs in Europe and the world took a stand on this issue, but the European Union did not take a stand.
The expert said that Qatar’s export of LNG gas to the Europe was the main reason for this issue, adding: Importing LNG from Qatar reduces gas dependence of the European countries on Russia and provides them with an alternative source.
Summarizing this part of his remarks, He stressed that the EU sanctions system is becoming more difficult, adding: In such a situation, because Iran does not have much economic and financial benefit for Brussels at the moment, they are using all their means to put pressure on Iran.
The expert on Europe affairs said: Iran has now become the focus and the center of this new sanctions system.
He also stressed that translating the concept of pragmatism based on principles in the European foreign policy in Bahrain is political and security, and is economic in countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
He added: Therefore, the dual European standard comes from this point.
As for Iran’s reaction to this EU approach, the expert on Europe affairs said: Iran needs to increase its presence in international forums and media, so that if an image of Iran is being made, that wrong image will be corrected.
At the same time, he emphasized that since Brussels was pursuing human rights issues or imposing sanctions on some countries based on its own interests and with its double standards, the only way to counter the EU’s stance is to build lasting and common interests with those countries in order to tie up the European interests with Iran.
Finally, He said that because Europe applies double standard on human rights, there is no clear solution to deal with it, and it is only better for the Islamic Republic of Iran to increase its contacts with the forums and the media in order not to tarnish its image with the international community.