Austrian Parliament Calls for More Support for Protests in Iran

PeopleOther ♦ Published: November 22, 2022; 22:25 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Austrian Parliament, the National Council, unanimously condemned the violent suppression of the current protests in Iran. The deputies demanded that actions on the part of Iranian institutions in Austria be monitored more closely and punished.

The government should also take a closer look at the activities of Iranian diplomats in Austria, the concerned Austrian MPs said. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Erich Schmid, CC BY-SA 3.0 (

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who lost her life because of non-compliance with a dress code, has been calling numerous Iranians to the streets for weeks. In their contributions to the debate, the speakers took the Iranian mullah regime to task for its human rights violations and brutal treatment of its people. They considered today's Iran as a danger not only for the region but for the whole world and reminded that Iranian drones are in use against Ukraine and terrorist networks are supported by Iran.

Iran is violently cracking down on the demonstrations and persecuting key figures in the protests. The Revolutionary Court in Tehran has been convicting key protesters regularly. Austrian newspaper DerStandard reports that two actresses were arrested after publicly removing their headscarves.

Meanwhile, the riots are not coming to an end. According to eyewitnesses, civil war-like scenes have taken place during riots in Kurdish areas in western and northwestern Iran. The cities of Javanrud and Piranshahr were the scene of violent clashes, with Iranian security forces allegedly firing indiscriminately at demonstrators.

Austrian Parliament Condemns Violent Repression of Protests in Iran

The Austrian government should also take a closer look at the activities of Iranian diplomats in Austria, as expressed by concerned members of the Austrian National Council.

Again and again, the call for further EU sanctions against Iran was heard in the parliament in Vienna. The debate also took place in the presence of Iranian women and men living in Austria. They and their families in Iran are directly affected by human rights violations and killings.

From the point of view of the deputies, the adopted resolution represents important support for the people in Iran as well as for the exiled Iranians and should also serve as a sign of solidarity. The basis for the clear political call was a resolution of the SPÖ, which had been amended in the Foreign Affairs Committee. Specifically, the deputies ask the federal government to make it clear to Iran that human rights, especially women's rights, as well as freedom of assembly and freedom of the press, must be respected.

They also call for a swift and transparent investigation into the cause of Mahsa Amini's death and for the immediate release of the demonstrators and journalists detained in the course of the protests.

Schallenberg: Human rights are not negotiable

Alexander Schallenberg stressed that the resolution was an important boost for him as Foreign Minister. He called the actions of the Islamic regime and the guardians of morality "shocking and archaic." Austria had always hoped that Iran would return to the international community, which is why the door had always been kept open. This makes the current development all the more bitter. Schallenberg did not fail to mention that Iran supplies drones to Russia and is thus complicit in war crimes. Now its population is also being terrorized. The Foreign Minister therefore expressly supported the sanctions against Iran so far, because clear words are not enough, he stressed. Human rights are not negotiable. Neither the EU nor Austria would look the other way, but rather support the people in Iran.

Harsh words and strict condemnation of the mullah regime

"We side with the protesting people in Iran," said Eva Maria Holzleitner (SPÖ), because they took to the streets to push back the repressive course despite the bloody excesses of the mullah regime. "They also expect a strong statement from us." But that can only be the first step, said the SPÖ mandatary, who, like Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic (Greens) and Pia Philippa Strache (o.F.), called for further sanctions. One must increase the pressure on this "brutal, fascist regime," Strache said. Similarly, Harald Troch (SPÖ) accused the Iranian regime of abusing religion and spoke of a "dehumanization policy" characterized by shooting orders on peaceful people, arrests and kidnappings. Dead bodies would even be disappeared so that no signs of torture would be found on their bodies, Troch reported.

What is happening in Iran must not be obscured by other crises, Reinhold Lopatka (ÖVP) stressed. He paid great respect to the courage of Iranians who are taking to the streets despite the brutality of the executive branch there. The protests had grown into the largest demonstration since the establishment of the mullahs' regime in 1979, he said, pointing out that 328 people, including 47 children, had already been killed. He added that the Iranian parliament has also instructed the judiciary to act as quickly as possible against the 227 prisoners who are "fighting against God," and that is code for the death penalty.

The Iranian regime is not a reliable partner, also underlined Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic (Greens), who also called for a clear stance in Austria and Europe as well as sanctions. She interpreted the current demonstrations in Iran as a "point of no return", as the people could no longer be forced back from the streets. For this, however, they also need international support. Austria stands behind the Iranian exile community, she stressed, and also described the Mullah regime as a geopolitical danger.

MPs call for close monitoring of Islamic institutions and diplomats

Reinhold Lopatka (ÖVP) as well as Helmut Brandstätter (NEOS), Martin Engelberg (ÖVP) and Harald Troch (SPÖ) addressed Islamic institutions in Austria and warned in this context against false tolerance and naivety. In particular, they addressed the Islamic Center in the 21st district and said that one should not close one's eyes to certain tendencies and look away. They also pointed out, however, that the "activities" of some diplomats at the Iranian Embassy in Vienna should be closely monitored, and that one should look closely at the extent to which threats or espionage are being carried out by these diplomats under the cloak of immunity. And they agreed that diplomats should also be expelled if necessary.

In Austria, too, women should not be oppressed, threatened and raped, added Martina Kaufmann (ÖVP). She asked the other deputies to use their international contacts to implement the resolution.

Austrian Parliament