Iran opposition pushes for pressure over election
BRUSSELS (AP) - A spokesman for Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi called on the European Parliament on Wednesday to pressure EU nations not to recognize the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf said Ahmadinejad's government and clerical hard-liners in Tehran are «endangering the peace» in the Middle East. He said Ahmadinejad's government was now a «100 percent dictatorship» that needed to be challenged.
«We believe Europe can impose sanctions against Iran,» he told the parliament's foreign affairs committee. «We want you to suspend the recognition of Amadinejad.
Saying he had been asked by Mousavi aides to spread the work, Makhmalbaf added that the aim of opposition groups was to seek a new presidential vote that could be observed by the United Nations.
Ahmadinejad claimed a landslide victory in last month's election but supporters of Mousavi say the official results are fraudulent.
EU lawmakers said they would hold a special debate on the postelection crackdown against protesters when the new term of the European Parliament convenes next week in Strasbourg, France.
Several lawmakers called for tougher diplomatic measures against Iran. The European Parliament has no powers itself to impose sanctions but can pass resolutions putting pressure on EU governments to act.
«Just expressing concern or protest, but sticking to noninterference is not enough in the new situation,» said Estonian lawmaker Tunne Kelam.
EU nations are currently discussing a temporary pullout of EU ambassadors from Tehran and a possible travel ban against senior Iranian officials to protest the recent detention of British Embassy employees in Tehran.