می نویسم، پس فعلا هستم
( گاهی هم البته صرفا بلند فکر می کنم )
۱۳۹۴ شهریور ۲۰, جمعه
My piece for Gateway House think-tank on the situation of human rights in Iran after the conclusion of the nuclear deal
10 September 2015, Gateway House
Human rights in Iran after the
While the lifting of economic sanctions after Iran’s
recent nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries may improve socio-economic
conditions, will it also positively impact human rights in the country?
BY Nargess Tavassolian
More than a month after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between
Iran and the P5+1 countries (China, Russia, France, UK, U.S., and Germany) was
concluded, Iranian human rights activists are still debating whether the deal
will eventually improve human rights in Iran, or will rights deteriorate?
Some activists have opposed the deal, arguing that its eventual
financial benefits will not be spent on the people of Iran. But a majority of
Iranian activists support the deal, as do I, as a legal expert and human rights
The conclusion of the nuclear deal will not automatically lead to the
betterment of human rights in Iran; but this goal cannot be achieved without
the active role of civil society in the country. Economic sanctions have severely affected ordinary Iranians in different
ways, and lifting the sanctions can ease Iranian society to a great extent.
Most Iranians have suffered from the sanctions-induced lack or high cost of
basic commodities such as medicine. The sanctions have also resulted in
corruption at various levels. Human rights are not only about civil and political issues (such as the
right to freedom of thought and expression); they also include economic and
social rights (such as the right to an adequate standard of living and the
right to be free from hunger). These were not possible with crippling economic
The deal can also help improve political and civil rights in Iran. The
Iranian government has on occasion used the charge of “collaborating with the
enemy government” against activists and journalists. Though the term “enemy”
state/government only implies countries at war with Iran, and does not include
states that don’t have friendly relations with Iran, it has been used quite
loosely in the country. With the nuclear deal, the Iranian government’s ambit
of such states is likely to narrow, and it is thereafter less likely to use the
“collaboration” charge against the country’s activists and journalists.
While opponents of the deal have argued the deal will make the Iranian
government stronger and more confident about suppressing human rights in the
country, experience shows that whenever Iran had been in isolation, as it was
in the 1980’s, the human rights record in fact became worse.
Various activists have stressed the role that the civil society can play
in this regard. In a joint statement, Iranian human rights organisations,
while endorsing the deal, have stressed that “as Iran’s relationship with the
international community evolves, human rights must be addressed as directly and
with the same level of dedication as shown by the Iranian government and the
international community in their recent dialogues.”
This of course also requires the support of human rights activists
abroad, as well as of the civil society of other countries—to put
pressure on their governments to consider human rights in negotiations with the
The Iranian government is concerned about its global public image.
Therefore, it is not unreasonable to argue that an end to Iran’s isolation may
contribute to the advancement of human rights in Iran.
Nargess Tavassolian received her PhD in law from School of Oriental and
African Studies in London, UK. She has collaborated with various media outlets
and think-tanks on Iran’s social, political and legal issues. She currently
works as a legal affairs correspondent and legal researcher.