Ex- Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt calls for EU policy shift on Iran 

Simona Mazzeo
credit: eureporter

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – In an address at, the Free Iran 2024 World Summit, ex-Belgian Prime Minister and MEP Guy Verhofstadt recommended the European Union adopt a drastically new strategy towards Iran. He urged for an end to the EU’s failed method of appeasement and complacency towards the Iranian regime.

Addressing the President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran  Maryam Rajavi, Guy Verhofstadt stated “I will take this opportunity, Mrs Rajavi, to give a clear message today—a clear message to the new leadership of the European Union.”

Should the EU Continue Appeasement towards Iran?

He contended that the European Union’s strategy towards Iran over the last decade has been a disappointment. It has been a strategy of appeasement. It has been a perspective of complacency. And it has died. Because the mullahs’ rule is persisting its evil activities, its criminal actions, not only against its people but also against the world.

How Serious is Iran’s Oppression of Women?

He emphasized the ongoing oppression in Iran, particularly targeting women, who are crucial to the country’s democratic resistance. Political dissidents face brutal executions daily. Moreover, nuclear weapon proliferation under the mullahs’ regime poses imminent threats, alongside Iran’s destabilizing influence across the Middle East, sponsoring numerous terrorist organizations.

Does Iran Destabilize the Middle East?

Guy Verhofstadt also pointed out that various groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, along with the mullahs’ regime, have begun supplying weapons to Russia during its invasion of Ukraine. He emphasized concerns over a regime that oppresses women, executes dissidents daily, proliferates nuclear weapons, destabilizes the Middle East, and supports autocratic regimes like Russia’s, which he stated lacks legitimacy. 

Should the EU Sanction Iran More Aggressively?

Verhofstadt urged the leaders of the 27 European Union countries, especially the new leadership and High Representative, to adopt a more courageous and effective strategy. He called for a strategy as bold and courageous as the Iranian people themselves, emphasizing four pillars, including the immediate recognition of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, a move he believed should have been implemented without delay.

Is Iran’s Nuclear Program a Global Threat?

Guy Verhofstadt emphasized the need to halt efforts, by some parties, to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, arguing that such agreements are futile given the untrustworthiness of the Iranian mullahs’ regime.

He called for a new strategy in the European Union, particularly to address the issue of hostages, which he described as scandalous due to individual deals made by certain countries with the regime. Verhofstadt advocated for a unified approach involving coherent sanctions targeting the entire regime, with sanctions increasing monthly until all hostages are released. He criticized the EU’s current ability to sanction only a limited number of regime officials.

Finally, Verhofstadt highlighted the importance of recognizing and collaborating with democratic opposition groups, particularly the NCRI, as the legitimate alternative to the current regime, stressing the urgency of such recognition given the regime’s lack of legitimacy.

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Simona Mazzeo is a journalist at Brussels Morning News. She is covering European Parliament, European Council, European Commission & Italy News. She is a law graduate and lawyer residing in Agropoli, has carved out a multifaceted career dedicated to justice and social advocacy. She actively serves as a delegated councilor for the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Bar Association of Vallo della Lucania, championing fair and equal representation within the legal system. Recognized for her expertise and empathy, Simona is qualified for registration in the list of Special Curators of minors in civil and criminal matters at the Court of Vallo della Lucania, ensuring the rights and interests of vulnerable children are protected throughout legal proceedings. Beyond her legal practice, Simona demonstrates a strong commitment to social causes. She is a founding member of the Free Lawyer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. Additionally, she leverages her knowledge and passion for social justice as a non-professional journalist, contributing insightful and informative pieces on relevant legal and societal issues. Through her diverse endeavors, Simona Mazzeo exemplifies dedication to legal excellence, social responsibility, and a fervent belief in equal access to justice for all.