Press release: Free European Hostages in Iran, 18 May 2022

The arrest of two French tourists in Tehran and the announcement by Tehran of the execution of Ahmadreza Djalili on 21 May confirm that the Islamic Republic has settled into a systematic policy of hostage-taking. This strategy aims at influencing the negotiations underway, or even at sabotaging them and cutting off all relations with Europe, and at obtaining the release of agents of its security services who have been arrested, judged or sentenced in various countries.

So far, diplomacy has proved powerless to secure the release of European citizens taken hostage.

We solemnly ask all European governments and the heads of European institutions to stand together in a common front and to make the continuation of negotiations with the Islamic Republic conditional on the immediate release of all European citizens arrested or sentenced in Iran, under false pretexts of national security violations.

The maintenance of relations with a state that systematically flouts the rules of diplomacy and disregards all principles is no longer acceptable for our public opinions. It has become politically and morally unbearable to continue to feed the hostage-taking machine. The Islamic Republic has clearly chosen as its preferred partners regimes that are indifferent to human rights and international conventions. With respect for the Iranian people and the rights of its citizens, let us leave the government of the Islamic Republic to its North Korean loves and manners, and wait for it to return to reason and decency. If the objective of the Revolutionary Guards, who are allegedly behind these illegitimate arrests, is to cut ties with Europe, let’s give them satisfaction, since no concession will ever be able to soften them up, but at most to enrage them further. It is up to other Iranian institutions to explain the cost of their policy to their own public.

Families, friends and supporters of European hostages in Iran

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