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In Iran, Human Rights Cannot Be Sacrificed for a Nuclear Deal

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In Iran, Human Rights Cannot Be Sacrificed for a Nuclear Deal – Shirin Ebadi and Payam Akhavan (Washington Post)

(from Daily Alert)

  • Even as Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif sat with his Western counterparts in Geneva, the lifeless body of a young man hung from a crane in a public square in Tehran, spreading fear among Iranians, who suffer the world’s highest per capita rate of executions.
  • A handful of political prisoners have been released as a symbolic gesture, but many still languish in inhumane conditions. The torture of dissidents and the censorship of the media continue as before. The persecution of religious minorities such as Bahais and Christians and of ethnic groups such as Ahwazi Arabs, Balochis and Kurds likewise continues unabated.
  • If pundits believe that appeasement of those espousing a hateful religious ideology will guarantee long-term security, they should understand the difference between political “realism” and wishful thinking.
  • An authoritarian regime without legitimacy will invariably rule through militarization. The concept of security differs in a democratic context. Consider how in the 1980s Argentina and Brazil, and then post-apartheid South Africa in the 1990s, abandoned military nuclear programs once they achieved democratic rule. A government that is answerable to its citizens has different priorities.

    Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian human rights lawyer and the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Payam Akhavan is a founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and a professor of international law at McGill University in Montreal.

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