Many try to persuade the new American administration to continue “business as usual” with Iran. Only recently we have witnessed several lobby groups reaching out to the incoming Trump administration, trying to persuade them to ease their approach toward the Iranian regime. For instance the report in the WSJ about European lobbying efforts, the WashingtonPost report and others. Although the lobbyists know that the sunset clause ensures that the nuclear deal does not prevent a nuclear Iran, they still present their efforts under the banner of “preventing a nuclear Iran”. At least the WSJ admits in their article that one of the driving motivations is “trade deal benefits”.
But perhaps lobbyists should be careful for whom they lobby. Did they not notice recent reports regarding the reasons for arresting, interrogating and jailing civilians?
Let’s start off with the revealing interview by Homa Hoodfar, reported on bbc, about the psychological torture she underwent in Iran. A Canadian academic, Hoodfar was brutally interrogated for 112 days in Tehran’s Evin prison. As reported in theguardian and thestar, she was charged with “dabbling in feminism” and security matters.
Let’s go on with the public executions and execution of juvenile offenders. Only this week, as reported at ncr-iran, once again the people witnessed a public humiliating execution in Iran, while juvenile offenders await their turn. Needless to say, such actions are regarded as unaccepted violations of human rights and human dignity. For some reason, the unacceptable becomes acceptable in the Iranian context.
Only recently we also saw how the regime arrested more than 120 people (see thenational) among them at least forty young boys and girls, for having a “mixed gender party”. This is not the first time, as can be seen on middleeasteye and orient-news. A video of this recent action was released on the blog nowruziran and “My Stealthy Freedom”. As reported by ncr-iran, they were charged among other things for their “social media activity”.
The President himself of Iran has lashed out against violations of human rights in his country, as reported in the washingtonpost, as if he has nothing to do with this. After all – he is President. If he truly can’t reign in human rights violations, as he pledged to the people of Iran in his election campaign, then perhaps he should vacate his seat for someone who can. Aren’t we tired of this game played by the President blaming “hardliners” for aspects under criticism in his country.
Perhaps it is time for the “lobbyists” to take responsibility for their actions!
If they lobby for a country which harasses and arrests people for “dabbling in feminism” and having “mixed gender parties”, then they cannot continue promoting themselves as the holders of the banner of liberalism, freedom of the individual and human rights.