MPs criticise EU’s condolences for Iran, Iranians in NL party

The Iranian embassy in The Hague. Photo: Amin via Wikimedia Commons

Several Dutch politicians have described the decision by European Council chairman Charles Michel to issue condolences on behalf of the EU following the death of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi as inappropriate.

Raisi and the country’s foreign minister were found dead on Monday hours after their helicopter crashed in fog. As yet there has been no official reaction from the Netherlands.

D66 parliamentarian Jan Paternotte said the speed at which Michel acted was “totally misplaced” given the number of people who have died because of Raisi and the regime. SP leader Jimmy Dijk said on social media that Michel’s action was “unheard of, inappropriate and unsuitable”.

BBB MP Gijs Tuinman said the Netherlands should make an additional statement that focuses on president Raisi’s “butchery” while the NSC’s Caspar Veldkamp said Michel’s statement should not be directed at Raisi’s family but at the “families of the people killed, tortured and suppressed”. 

However, a spokesman for Michel said later that “diplomacy requires dialogue… even with regimes with which we have deep differences”. It is “essential” to remain in conversation with Iran to prevent further escalation in the region, the spokesman said. 

The US has also offered its official condolences “as a standard procedure”.

Meanwhile, Iranian dissidents in the Netherlands have been celebrating the death of the man known as the “butcher”, with a group waving flags holding an impromptu dance outside the embassy in The Hague.

“It is a party for us because we are happy,” one woman told RTL Nieuws. “He did terrible things, he executed people and our country has suffered.” 

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