“I don’t believe that the Iranians only have peaceful intentions with their nuclear program,” said David Lega, a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament. Lega was responding to recent protestations of the Iranian regime that it has only “civilian purposes” in mind with its progress toward nuclear capability.
Speaking exclusively to Israel Hayom from his residence in Sweden, Lega said that, “We haven’t yet come to a decision regarding Iran; we are monitoring the situation closely, using great caution. I don’t want to speak on behalf of the Committee as we haven’t debated this issue yet, but I think that most of the other members hold similar views to my own.”
In the interview, Lega mentioned the letter of condemnation that he, together with his fellow committee members, sent to the European Union (EU) Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, protesting the presence of Enrique Mora, the EU’s deputy secretary-general for political affairs, at the inauguration ceremony for the new president of Iran, Ibrahim Raisi, last June.
“I think the European Parliament has begun to regard Iran as a threat in many ways in recent years,” Lega noted. “That’s why it was so disturbing that we sent Mora to the inauguration. I don’t know why we had to recognize those elections at all.”
Nonetheless, he said that the European Parliament has taken several steps to restrict the influence of the Iranian regime, including declaring Hezbollah in Lebanon to be a terrorist organization, and calling out Iran’s involvement in the war in Yemen using the Houthis as their proxies.
“If we reach an agreement with Iran, Europe must not be the only side that respects it,” he stressed. “We have to ensure that Iran abides by any agreement we reach, and we have to be absolutely clear on how we are going to make sure that happens, including what forms of sanctions we will incorporate in the agreement. In my opinion, that’s the central point here. If it’s only us abiding by the agreement, it will be disastrous.”
The Israel Hayom interview was conducted in Sweden, but on Monday, Lega arrived in Israel as part of a delegation of senior European officials, members of ELNET, the European Leadership Network. ELNET is a non-governmental organization that works toward the strengthening of relations between Europe and Israel.
Shai Bezek, director of ELNET, said, “This visit of senior members of the European Parliament in Israel is a significant step toward strengthening the vital relationship between Israel and Europe. I am confident that this important visit will advance our mutual interests within the framework of this initiative and future cooperation.”