'propaganda' | 

MEP Mick Wallace slams protests in Iran, compares ‘spread of disinformation’ to Syria

‘Those who supported the so-called Syrian revolution, say nothing today about Syria lying in ruins… Is this what you want for Iran?’

Mick Wallace© Collins

Seoirse MulgrewIndependent.ie

Irish MEP Mick Wallace has criticised protests in Iran in the European Parliament and accused some world leaders of “spreading disinformation”.

Speaking in the European Parliament, Mr Wallace accused some protesters of violence and “untold damage and destruction” that he said would “not be tolerated anywhere”.

Nationwide protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September in the custody of morality police for wearing an improper hijab, have swept through the country for weeks.

Some 320 people have been killed by security forces and at least 15,000 have been arrested since the protests started on September 17, according to Oslo-based Iran Human Rights.

The Iranian government has enforced a brutal crackdown on protesters.

“Last week, we had MEPs, members of the European External Action Service and even some world leaders spreading disinformation. Claiming the Iranian government had decided to impose the death penalty on nearly 15,000 protesters,” Mr Wallace said.

“There have also been much violence and murders by some protesters, untold damage and destruction, it would not be tolerated anywhere.

“Iran is under attack. The media assault is intense. The campaign of propaganda and destabilisation brings the Syrian regime change operation to mind.

“Those who supported the so-called Syrian revolution, say nothing today about Syria lying in ruins, illegally occupied, sanctioned to death, with millions displaced and hundreds of thousands dead.

“Is this what you want for Iran?”

Mr Wallace also said that some protests were peaceful, and that Iranians had been unjustly imprisoned and killed.

“There are peaceful protests, many Iranians are unjustly imprisoned and should be released, and far too many have been killed by the aggressive crackdown," he said.

This comes after Mr Wallace, along with his Left group independent colleague Clare Daly, abstained on a vote to grant Ukraine financial assistance and voted against a resolution to deem Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

Yesterday, the European Parliament designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Lawmakers in Strasbourg argued Moscow's military strikes on civilian targets such as energy infrastructure, hospitals, schools and shelters violate international law.

The move is largely symbolic, though, as the European Union does not have a legal framework in place to back it up.

MEP Daly indicated in advance of the resolution vote that she would be opposing it.

"This [resolution] does not condone Russia's actions in Ukraine. As I consistently have done, in votes on individual parts, I condemn Russia's invasion and call for a withdrawal,” she said.

“My overall vote is against the improper and unwise call for the use of a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ designation.

"Even the warhawks in the Biden administration have resisted pressure to designate Russia a 'state sponsor of terrorism,' because doing so would close off options for negotiating humanitarian and peace efforts. Only a fool does this.”

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