Dozens of people joined a rally in the centre of Brussels on Wednesday in a protest against the upcoming visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to the European capital this week. The talks between the foreign minister and EU officials, including the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, are scheduled for Thursday and are reportedly aimed at discussing Iran’s nuclear deal.
The demonstrators, who gathered at the centre of the bureaucratic quartier of Brussels (Place Schuman, just in front of the European External Action Service building), repeatedly chanted, “Madam Mogherini, no deal with the Iranian murderous regime”. People carried pictures of the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi, and urged the international community to condemn and hold accountable the Iranian political leaders for the brutal suppression of recent protests across the country.
“The EU must admit that its policy towards Iran is counterproductive. The recent protests in Iran, which left at least 21 people dead, showed that ordinary people want a regime change, freedom and economic reforms. Nevertheless, Mogherini continues to insist on the necessity of a dialogue and cooperation with the brutal regime under the pretext of ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme,” said Firouz Mahvi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Mass anti-government protests started on 28 December in Mashad and soon gripped more than 100 Iranian cities, including Tehran. According to various estimates, up to 350,000 people participated in the largest protest across the country since 2009. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused “enemies of Iran” of stirring up days of protests.