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EU Opens a new Chapter



The repeated international negative reports on the appalling conditions of human rights in Iran have gradually turned into a judgment of Hassan Rouhani and his administration. First UN Secretary General Banki Moon announced to the Security Council that Rouhani has not taken any effective steps in addressing human rights issues despite his promises on this and that no progress had been made on improving freedom of speech and ideas. Then came the US State Department report on human rights across the world which wrote that the situation in Iran remained horrendous and that Rouhani’s ineffectiveness in this becomes more apparent with time.

But the recent EU resolution on Iran and its emphasis on human rights and the request that foreign groups should meet human rights activists and family members of political prisoners is a serious and unprecedented elevation of the issue into turning Iran’s violations into a global topic. This change is a categorical indication that Rouhani’s administration does not wish to or is incapable of taking any measures to address the human rights issues in the country.

The central issue here is not just the number of executions in Iran. It is also not that contrary to campaign promises by Rouhani no measures are taken on the ground in the areas of freedom of press or political freedoms. The absence of a positive human rights record is in fact making Rouhani to the periphery where he is seen to play pretty much the role that Ahmadinejad played during the last months of his administration. Everyone knew that during the last nine months of his term he had no say in the administration of the country and it was others who made the key decisions. The continuation of Iran’s dismal human rights record strengthens the impression on the world stage that Rouhani is merely a puppet in the hands of those who are running the country from behind, while he is given the papers to sign.

Rouhani on his behalf can of course publicly announce that he does not accept the repeated human rights violations and that state acts that do that are carried out for the purpose of discrediting him domestically and internationally.

There is no doubt that it is groups and forces beyond and above Rouhani who do not want to change the political conditions in the country. But his silence regarding these issues sends the message that he is obedient to those who last year controlled the political atmosphere in the country and opened it so that a man who they could control would win the presidential race. If he did that, then not only would people realize that not only were they duped but it would also indicate that his election was merely a strategy to calm down the repressed masses and undermine the last strongholds of the Green Movement.

This is the situation today:

1-All of Iran’s nuclear activities are under the minutest control of the IAEA and international monitors.

2-All of Iran’s financial activities in the world are under the control of international monitors according to the UN, US and EU sanctions.

3-The gross human rights violations in Iran prepare the groundwork for extending the mission of international observers on Iran’s internal developments.

So the new Persian year began on March 20th as conditions in Iran resembled those of Iraq before Saddam Hussein was removed from power when international monitors monitored and controlled that country. The difference is that in Iran it appears that only serious measures on human rights conditions may bring about some relief from the international sanctions while also providing the justification for the nuclear talks.

Rooz online