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UN| Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives

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Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The General Assembly, Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1 the International Covenants on Human Rights 2 and other international human rights instruments,

Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the most recent of which is resolution 69/190 of 18 December 2014,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General of 31 August 2015 submitted pursuant to resolution 69/1903 and the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council of 6 October 2015, 4 submitted pursuant to Council resolution 28/21 of 27 March 2015,5 both on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran;

2. Continues to welcome the pledges made by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to some important human rights issues, particularly on eliminating discrimination against women and members of ethnic minorities, and on greater space for freedom of expression and opinion;

3. Acknowledges proposals for legislative and administrative changes in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which, if properly implemented, would address some human rights concerns, including portions of the new Code of Criminal Procedure;

4. Welcomes recent announcements by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran of increased services for victims of domestic violence, as well as draft legislation that may increase penalties for perpetrators of violence against women;

5. Also welcomes steps taken to improve access to education for persons belonging to some ethnic minorities in their native languages;

6. Acknowledges the participation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its second universal periodic review, and welcomes its acceptance of 130 recommendations, as well as its recent engagement with human rights treaty bodies through the submission of periodic national reports, while remaining concerned about the Government’s implementation record in respect of the recommendations that it accepted during its first universal periodic review;

7. Expresses serious concern at the alarming high frequency of and increase in the carrying-out of the death penalty, in disregard of internationally recognized safeguards, including executions undertaken without notification to the prisoner’s family members or legal counsel, and at the continuing imposition and carrying -out of the death penalty against minors and persons who at the time of their offence were under the age of 18, in violation of the obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran under both the Convention on the Rights of the Child6 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2 and for crimes that do not qualify as the most serious crimes, and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to abolish, in law and in practice, public executions, which are contrary to the 2008 prohibition of this practice by the former head of the judiciary, and executions carried out in violation of its international obligations or in the absence of respect for internationally recognized safeguards;

8. Calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure, in law and in practice, that no one is subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which may include sexual violence, in conformity with the constitutional guarantees of the Islamic Republic of Iran and international obligations;

9. Urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to uphold, in law and in practice, procedural guarantees to ensure fair trial standards of law, including timely access to legal representation of one’s choice, the right not to be subjected to torture, cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and consideration of bail and other reasonable terms for release from custody pending trial, and urges the Government to cease enforced disappearances and the widespread and systematic use of arbitrary detention;

10. Calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to address the poor conditions of prisons, to eliminate the denial of access to adequate medical treatment and the consequent risk of death faced by prisoners and to put an end to the continued and sustained house arrest of leading opposition figures from the 2009 presidential elections despite serious concerns about their health, as well as the pressure exerted upon their relatives and dependants, including through arrest;

11. Also calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the judicial and security branches, to end widespread and serious restrictions, in law and in practice, on the right to freedom of expression, opinion, association and peaceful assembly, including through the ongoing harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention and prosecution of, as well as the denial of access to higher education for, political opponents, human rights defenders, women’s and minority rights activists, labour leaders, students’ rights activists, academics, filmmakers, journalists, bloggers, social media users, religious leaders, artists, lawyers, recognized and unrecognized religious minorities and their families, and urges the Government to release persons arbitrarily detained for the legitimate exercise of these rights, to consider rescinding unduly harsh sentences, including the death penalty and long-term exile, for exercising such fundamental freedoms and to end reprisals against individuals cooperating with the United Nations human rights mechanisms;

12. Strongly urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against women and girls, to take measures to ensure protection for women and girls against violence, to address the alarming incidence of child, early and forced marriage, to promote women’s participation in decision-making processes and, while recognizing the high enrolment of women in all levels of education in the Islamic Republic of Iran, to lift restrictions on women’s equal access to all aspects of education and women’s equal participation in the labour market and in all aspects of economic, cultural, social and political life;

13. Calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against persons belonging to ethnic, linguistic or other minorities, including but not limited to Arabs, Azeris, Balochis and Kurds and their defenders;

14. Expresses serious concern about ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or beli ef and restrictions on the establishment of places of worship, as well as attacks against places of worship and burial, as well as other human rights violations, including but not limited to harassment, persecution and incitement to hatred that lead to vio lence against persons belonging to recognized and unrecognized religious minorities, including Christians, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith and their defenders, and calls on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release the seven Baha’i leaders declared by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to have been arbitrarily detained since 2008, and to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination, including the closure of businesses, and other human rights violations against persons belonging to recognized and unrecognized religious minorities;

15. Urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to launch a comprehensive accountability process in response to cases of serious human rights violations, including those involving the Iranian judiciary and security agencies and those following the 2009 presidential elections, and calls on the Government to end impunity for such violations;

16. Strongly urges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure credible, transparent and inclusive parliamentary elections in 2016, and to allow all candidates to stand in a manner consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights1 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 in order to guarantee the free expression of the will of the Iranian people, and to that end calls upon the Government to allow independent national and international observation;

17. Calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to implement its obligations under those human rights treaties to which it is already a party, to withdraw any reservations that it has made where such reservations are overly general, imprecise or could be considered incompatible with the object and purpos e of the treaty, to consider acting upon the concluding observations concerning the Islamic Republic of Iran adopted by the bodies of the international human rights treaties to which it is a party and to consider ratifying or acceding to the international human rights treaties to which it is not already a party;

18. Also calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to engage with international human rights mechanisms by:

(a) Cooperating fully with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including by accepting the repeated requests made by the Special Rapporteur to visit the country in order to carry out his mandate;

(b) Cooperating with other special mechanisms, including by facilitating long-standing requests for access to the country from thematic special procedures mandate holders, whose access to its territory has been restricted or denied, despite the standing invitation issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran, without imposing undue conditions upon those visits;

(c) Implementing all accepted universal periodic review recommendations from its first cycle, in 2010, and its second cycle, in 2014, with the full and genuine participation of independent civil society and other stakeholders in the implementation process;

(d) Building upon the engagement of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the universal periodic review process by continuing to explore cooperation on human rights and justice reform with the United Nations, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;

(e) Following through on its commitment to establish an independent national human rights institution, made in the context of its first universal periodic review by the Human Rights Council, with due regard for the recommendation of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

19. Further calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to translate the pledges made by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran with respect to human rights concerns into concrete action that results in demonstrable improvements as soon as possible and to ensure that its national laws are consistent with its obligations under international human rights law and that they are implemented in accordance with its international obligations;

20. Calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to address the substantive concerns highlighted in the reports of the Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the specific calls to action found in previous resolutions of the General Assembly, and to respect fully its human rights obligations in law and in practice;

21. Strongly encourages the relevant thematic special procedures mandate holders to pay particular attention to, with a view to investigating and reporting on, the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran;

22. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its seventy-first session on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution, including options and recommendations to improve its implementation, and to submit an interim report to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-first session;

23. Decides to continue its examination of the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran at its seventy-first session under the item entitled “Promotion and protection of human rights”.

Original document

11 NGOs urge UN experts to intervene in the environmental crisis in southwestern Iran

Ahwaz-Dust-Logos

Justice for Iran- 17 February 2015:

Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran

Mr. John Knox, UN Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment,

Mr. Dainius Pūras, UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned human rights and civil society organizations, write to call your attention to an issue of urgent and serious concern in Iran. We wish to urge you to use your respective mandates to make an urgent appeal to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to environmental crisis in western and southwestern Iran.

The environmental crisis in Ahwaz and other cities in Western and Southwestern Iran is indeed becoming a humanitarian disaster. Dust storms which have existed for years in this part of Iran, have been significantly intensified in the last few days and made local people to breath dust instead of air. For a good portion of year the amount of dust particles in the air reaches dangerous levels, sometimes up to 60 times the permissible level, and the air pollution up to 15 times the permissible level. On some days, the intensity of dust particles has been so high that it has rendered air pollution testing devices dysfunctional.

On occasions, the dust has reduced visibility to less than 50 meters, which has resulted in some fatal car accidents with high numbers of casualties. According to official reports, everyday, an average of more than 250 people attend emergency departments in Ahwaz hospitals for respiratory problems while some of them need to be admitted to special care units. So far, official authorities have declined to give any statistics on air pollution related deaths. They also refuse to give any clear, non-contradictory, and accurate explanation and information on the reasons behind the crisis, responsible bodies, and solutions to the problem.

It has been announced that the government has an “Executive Package” on the way to battle the dust storms, which sounds promising. However, the only tangible measure taken by the government so far in order to protect the lives of more than one million people of Ahwaz has been ordering schools and government departments closed. In the last two weeks alone, schools in Ahwaz have been closed down for seven days. Further, it was only days after the beginning of the crisis, and following public protests, that the government began distributing free surgical masks. This was however limited only to Ahwaz and in other towns and cities people still have to pay for the masks. The intensity of dust and air pollution is also observed in other cities in Western and Southwestern Iran such as Ilam, Piranshahr, Abadan, Dehloran, Dezful, Hendijan, Mahshahr, Ramshir, Khoramshahr, Bukan, Mianduab, Hoveyzeh, Hamidiyeh, and Dasht-e Azadegan and Urmia (Orumieh) where the majority of population belongs to ethnic minorities who are subjected to discrimination and violation.

Multiple reasons have been suggested for this environmental crisis, which has become more problematic since ten years ago and affected the lives and health of millions of Iranians. It has been claimed that drought as a regional problem, excessive use of water resources and the diverting of the Karun river, development plans without taking environmental concerns into account such as excessive construction of water dams in the region including in Iran, oil exploration projects, etc. have resulted in desertification and drying up of marshlands and lagoons, which used to prevent dust from getting into residential areas. Lack of cooperation between Iran and Iraq in preserving the marshlands is another factor contributing to the dust storms originated inside Iraq.

Over the past ten years, the government of the IRI has not carried out any effective plan to prevent dust particles getting into the air breathed by people. Now this has turned into an emergency crisis with no short-term solution, if any, in the horizon.

In a 2003 report[1], the UNEP had sounded alarm about the disappearance of two of the largest marshlands in the world and the largest ecosystem in southwestern Asia, Hur-ul-azim and Hur-ul-hoveyzeh, located on the Iran-Iraq border. According to this research, by that time 90 percent of this ancient and unique ecosystem had been destroyed. The report described the death of these marshlands as one of humanity’s worst engineered disasters and suggested that the only solution to prevent a major environmental crisis would be urgent measures to preserve these two international marshlands. However, this never materialized, neither by Iran nor Iraq, and dust particles raised from the dried-up marshlands became one of the main reasons of the current disaster that is unfolding in southwestern Iran, particularly the city of Ahwaz.

It is evident that short-sighted regional and national development plans and poor environmental policy-making have contributed to this disaster. The governments in the region, including the IRI, have failed to effectively and timely address the environmental problems and control harmful activities within their own terri­tories, which have caused the current disaster.

Human rights and environmental protection are interlinked and the rights to life, health, and development undoubtedly depend on a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The government of the IRI owes positive obligations towards its citizens in this regard and we are extremely disturbed by the fact that, the IRI has failed to effectively protect its citizens against environmental harm and to mitigate the consequences.

We, therefore, respectfully request that you consider the situation described above and urge the government of the IRI to take the following steps:

  • Take effective and tangible measures to prevent and mitigate harm to people.
  • Take urgent and special measures to protect those most vulnerable including children, ill people, and older people.
  • Carry out a comprehensive inquiry and hold accountable those responsible for causing the problem or failed to take effective and timely measures.
  • Provide full access to information about the problem and its impacts on the health and lives of people, as well as the decisions made and plans adopted.
  • Take into account in decision-­making process the environmental impact of activities on the right to life and health of people.
  • Invite local authorities, independent experts, civil society and rights groups to participate in environmental decision-making.
  • Provide effective remedies and access to justice –while ensuring non­-discriminatory treatment– for those individuals or communities who are directly affected by this problem.

In conclusion, we request that you watch the situation closely until all required measures by the Islamic Republic of Iran are taken and the problem is solved.

Sincerely yours,

Duman Radmehr, Board Member

Association for the Human Rights of Azerbaijani People in Iran(AHRAZ )

Dr Hossein Ladjevardi, President

Association des Chercheurs Iraniens’ (ACI)

Karen Parker, President

Association of Humanitarian Lawyers

Taimoor Aliassi, UN Representative

Association of Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva

Ibrahim Al Arabi, Executive Director

European Ahwazi Human Rights Organisation (EAHRO)

Keyvan Rafiee, Director

Human Rights Activists in Iran  (HRAI)

Mohammad Nayyeri, Founder and Director

Insight Iran

Lydia Brazon, Executive Director

International Educational Development, Inc

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, Executive Director

Iran Human Rights

Shadi Sadr, Co-Director

Justice for Iran (JFI)

Mohammad Mostafaei, Director

Universal Tolerance Organization

———–

[1] UNEP, The Mesopotamian Marshlands: Demise of an Ecosystem, available at: <http://www.grid.unep.ch/activities/sustainable/tigris/report.ph>.

SZ| Iran richtet Vergewaltigungsopfer hin

Rejhaneh Dschabbari

Hätte gerettet werden können, wenn die Familie ihres Vergwaltigers sie begnadigt hätte: Reyhaneh Jabbari.

(Foto:dpa)

  • In Iran wird die 26-jährige Reyhaneh Jabbari hingerichtet. Sie wurde 2009 zum Tode verurteilt, weil sie den Mann erstach, der sie nach eigenen Angaben vergewaltigen wollte.
  • An dem Gerichtsverfahren gab es massive Kritik. Im Internet protestierten Hunderttausende Menschen. Auch Amnesty International und die Vereinten Nationen schalteten sich ein.

Iran richtet Vergewaltigungsopfer hin

Alle Rettungsversuche waren vergeblich: Iran hat die 26-jährige Reyhaneh Jabbari hingerichtet. Das bestätigte ihre Mutter Shole Pakrava in einem Interview mit der BBC, die Nachrichtenagentur AP berichtet unter Berufung auf die staatliche Nachrichtenagentur Irna von der Hinrichtung. Jabbari saß seit fünf Jahren wegen des Mordes an einem früheren Geheimdienstmitarbeiter in der Todeszelle. Jabbari hatte auf Notwehr plädiert. Sie sagte aus, dass Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi sie angegriffen und versucht habe, sie zu vergewaltigen. Sie habe sich mit einem Messer gewehrt und dem Mann in die Schulter gestochen. Später wird es heißen, er sei daran verblutet.

Jabbari floh nach der Tat, wurde aber aufgegriffen und für 56 Tage ins Gefängnis gesteckt, wo sie den Mord angeblich gestandt. 2009 wurde sie zum Tode verurteilt, im März 2014 wurde das Urteil an die Vollstreckungsbehörden übergeben. Damit konnte die junge Frau jeden Moment hingerichtet werden. Die Exekution durch Erhängen wurde aber mehrfach verschoben. Am Freitag sollen ihre Eltern einem Onkel zufolge schließlich einen Anruf aus dem Gefängis erhalten haben: Sie könnten sich nun von ihrer Tochter verabschieden.

Vollständiger Artikel

No Expected Changes in Upcoming UPR on Iran

dead end

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism by the UN Human Rights Council(HRC) to review the state of human rights in 42 states once every 4.5 years. Its recommendations are handed over to the reviewed country which can either accept them or not. The working group in charge of the UPR is composed of UN members, including the State under Review (SuR), but is open also to relevant NGO’s.

The next UPR on Iran is scheduled for the 31st of October.

Iran implements 2.3% of all recommendation from last UPR

In the last UPR on Iran from 2010, a total of 212 recommendations were placed by 51 countries – Iran accepted 126 recommendations.

To date, it has implemented 5 and partially implemented another 30. The unimplemented recommendations represent the suffering of Iranians under a regime which does not tolerate human rights. You can find an interactive map of all recommendations here.

GRAPH

The lack of implementation doesn’t come as a big surprise for people interested in human rights in Iran but it should shake up a bit the supporters of the regime in Iran. More importantly, it should serve as a clear mirror to shatter the hypocrisy of Iranian leaders who keep on denying that the regime in Tehran is a serial offender of human rights.

Two people who should answer to the UPR but won’t

Two people in particular should have to answer openly to the UPR on Iran.

The first is Javad Larijani, Iran’s human rights chief.

Unfortunately, he systematically denies any problem of human rights in Iran, believes that being gay is a sickness and condones the use of torture, stoning and hanging because they are an integral part of Sha’ariah law. He also denies the existence of political prisoners, religious persecution, and basically any reports of human rights violations in Iran. Based on his modem operandi, he will probably evade and/or deny all accusations and follow up with accusations of his own that the UPR is political and does not accept the cultural and religious laws on which the Islamic Republic of Iran was born.

Chances are, he will evade, deny, accuse and rant profusely and won’t come even close to accept, answer or change anything that turns up in the review.

The second person who should answer to the UPR is President Rouhani.

Rouhani, pegged early on as a moderate, won his presidency on a ticket of change inforeign policy and human rights.

He did live up partially to half of his promises: His open foreign policy led to the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 and to an unceasing list of foreign delegations of diplomats and businessmen to Tehran who are eager for sanctions to be lifted in order to make money…lots of money. The result of his efforts is evident in a big boost in the economy as well as numerous political and economic deals within and outside of the framework of the sanctions.

Unfortunately, Rouhani’s interior policy doesn’t live up to his promises and can be summed up in one word: silence. Rouhani has, for over a year, managed to dodge any questions regarding human rights violations in Iran even when faced with mounting evidence of abuses including state-promoted gender segregation, the highest rate of hangings to date, brutal cases of torture, amputations and floggings, imprisonment of political opponents and journalists, persecution of religious women, gays and religious minorities, clamping down on the freedom of speech and use of the internet and on and on and on.

Here’s a video which outlines the gap between his rhetoric and the reality in Iran.

He has remained silent to date and will probably remain silent.

On human rights and WMD’s

The violations of human rights in Iran and the repeated denials of the regime in Tehran symbolize not only the suffering of the Iranian people but also testify to the regime’s insistence to live according to its own perceptions with total disregard to international norms. The regime in Tehran is not open to criticism from within or from without and prefers to work only through the principles of the Islamic Revolution and the word of their Supreme Leader Khamenei.

It is this mindset that has led to the impasse on Tehran’s nuclear program as a result of multiple accounts of breaches of IAIA requirements and a low level of transparency. The growing suspicions on a military aspect to the nuclear program led to the crippling sanctions which, in a way, brought on the presidency of Rouhani and the need to negotiate. Some commentators believe that Rouhani is focusing first on his foreign policy and that once he inks a nuclear deal he will try to make right on his promises for better human rights. Maybe…or maybe the regime will continue to thumb its nose at its people and the world.

Source: Iran 24/07

Confront Iran’s Human Rights Violations through Personal Stories of Persecution


Impact Iran Coalition and International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran draw attention to Iran’s upcoming human rights review
October 14, 2014— Impact Iran, a coalition of human rights organizations, in partnership with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, today launched a new video, “Promises Made, Promises Broken.” The video is part of a series aimed at drawing attention to Iran’s second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council on October 31, 2014. A new video will be released each week leading up to the review.

Their first video features nine persecuted Iranians who powerfully tell their stories of repression, harassment, detainment and torture in their own words. While these activists, bloggers, lawyers and students put a face to Iran’s human rights abuses, their stories are shared by many Iranians whose rights are violated every day.

“’Promises Made, Promises Broken’ tells the story of Iran’s human rights abuses through the compelling personal accounts of those who have experienced firsthand what it is like to live with this level of repression,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “These individuals were targeted because of their religious beliefs, their peaceful rights advocacy, their sexual orientation, and their ethnicity, which goes against all of Iran’s human rights commitments.”

Despite the fact that Iran accepted 126 recommendations from UN Human Rights Council member countries at its last UPR in 2010, it has not honored the majority of these commitments, and violations continue to occur. For example, Iran agreed to improve protections against torture and ill treatment of detainees. However, several of the Iranians featured in “Promises Made, Promises Broken” report being victims of physical and psychological torture during their unjust detainments. The video calls on viewers throughout the international community to raise their voices and hold Iran accountable for its track record on human rights.

An analysis of Iran’s UPR commitments is available at www.ImpactIran.org and www.UPRIran.org.

“As Iran’s second UPR approaches, it has never been more important that we take measures to ensure the Iranian government keeps its human rights promises,” said Mani Mostofi, Director of Impact Iran. “This video series puts human faces to each of Iran’s repressive practices and urges viewers to raise their voices in solidarity with these persecuted Iranians to hold Iran accountable.”

#UPRIRAN #UPR20

Source: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Diplomats work to extend Iran nuclear talks

On Thursday, July 17, diplomats from Iran and six world powers began to negotiate the terms of an extension for an Iran nuclear deal, as Iranian negotiators expressed frustration that their Western counterparts had not responded more positively to Iran’s proposal to hold enrichment capacity steady for up to seven years.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) “must convince us on the formula” for Iran to agree to an extension, a member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, speaking not for attribution, told Al-Monitor.

Iran had shown flexibility in a proposal presented to US Secretary of State John Kerry this week that would have held Iran’s enrichment capacity steady for up to seven years, among other measures. But if Iran hoped the more moderate 11th hour position would launch haggling over final deal terms to meet the July 20 interim deal deadline, it was disappointed. Diplomats here indicate they are preparing for an extension of four months, until around November 20, 2014.

Kerry, while praising tangible progress in the negotiations, returned to Washington July 15 saying there was more work to be done.

Kerry met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on July 16 to brief them on the nuclear negotiations, and has been consulting with congressional leaders over the past two days. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns was also due to return to Washington on Thursday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — whose brother Hossein Fereidoun joined the Iranian delegation’s meetings with Kerry here this past week and who was instrumental in setting up the historic Obama-Rouhani phone call last September — said Thursday it was in the “interest of all” for the talks to continue past the July 20 deadline, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.

Comments by Iran’s supreme leader last week that Iran eventually wants to have an enrichment capacityof 190,000 separative work units do not reflect Iran’s near term but “ultimate” needs, the Iranian negotiator told Al-Monitor. That suggested Iran had indicated to US negotiators it would be willing to postpone industrial-level enrichment until after the duration of a final agreement.

However, Iran and the P5+1 have not yet agreed on how long a final agreement should last. Iran would like to increase its enrichment capacity within seven years, in part to vindicate the policies of Rouhani, who has championed engagement with the international community, while he would still be in office, were he to win a second presidential term.

US officials have said the minimum duration of a final nuclear accord should be a two-digit number.

There are signs Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans to return to Iran Friday, July 18, even as US negotiators indicate they currently plan to stay until the terms for an extension are agreed with the other parties.

Source: ai-monitor

Israel’s Rita Rocks the U.N. – Peace for all Palestinians and Israelis

http://www.unwatch.org
Israeli singer Rita’s special surrealistic concert at the UN General Assembly, 5 March 2013, in the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

UN Ambassador Prosor has pulled off one of the most unusual diplomatic achievements ever: a full-fledged UN-sponsored Farsi-Hebrew musical event full of goodwill and sympathy

HAARETZ
By Chemi Shalev | March 6, 2013 | 9:50 AM

Inside the hall of the General Assembly at the United Nations building in New York, it seemed at times that either the messiah had arrived or the world had turned inside-out Bizarro, like in the Superman comics: Rita, one of Israel’s most popular performers, was singing in Farsi and Hebrew; Israelis were dancing in the aisles: diplomats from around the world were clapping and begging for more; Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor was the hero of the day; Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said “shalom” and General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic, it turned out, hails from a family of Righteous Gentiles.

It was, without a doubt, a night to remember, a memory to cherish, an Israeli-made spectacle the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the General Assembly since Ambassador Herzog tore apart that Zionism is Racism resolution in 1975. Only this time, it was the other way around: “Why is this night different than all other nights?” an elated and season conscious Prosor asked me, “Because on this night, contrary to all previous nights, the United Nations is united behind Israel and resides under the wings of Rita.”

The wings that Prosor was referring to come from Haim Bialik’s song “Hachnisini Tahat Knafech” — “Under Your Wing” — a popular Israeli song which was featured in Rita’s “Tunes for Peace” concert performed at UN headquarters Tuesday night. The famous platform underneath the giant olive-colored UN symbol was turned into a rock concert stage, including a smoke machine, strobe lights, and a rocking and raucous 9-piece ensemble that played Persian-Israeli music with light touches of Klezmer to boot.

The auditorium, which for most Israelis and Diaspora Jews has come to be associated with harsh anti-Israeli rhetoric, cold diplomatic isolation, and humiliating political defeats at the hands of the “automatic majority,” suddenly had a warm ambiance and an admiring audience comprised of Iranian expatriates, Israeli diplomats, UN employees, and representatives of 140 UN delegations who begged their Israeli colleagues for invitations to the show and to the experience.

Ban Ki Moon opened the evening with the word “shalom” and described Rita as “a cultural ambassador”. Then came Jeremic, who announced that he would soon be the first sitting President of the General Assembly to visit Israel, during which he will participate in a Yad Vashem ceremony in which members of his grandmother’s family in Belgrade would be recognized as “Righteous Among the Gentiles” for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

Then, Introducing Rita, Prosor said “I always hoped that I would one day be the opening act for Rita at a major venue in New York City. Although, I’ll admit, I never expected that it would be in the form of the Three Tenors: “Ban, Prosor, and Jeremic.”

“It is our sincere hope that this musical evening will echo from New York to the hearts and minds of people throughout Israel and Iran,” Prosor added, and then asked Rita to “rock the house”, which she did.

The popular Israeli singer gave a ten song rendition that included five songs in Farsi, four in Hebrew and one — “Time for Peace” — in English. She delighted the audience with stories of her childhood in Tehran, about her mother’s love for music, and about her own wish to spread the love far and wide between her birthplace and her homeland. Her strong voice reverberated in the hall which had never seen such a joyous bunch of Israelis, including enthusiastic Rita fans who tried to get the UN diplomats to dance with them near the stage and down the aisles, though that proved a bridge too long for the usually stiff and formal envoys.

DeutschlandRadio| “In Teheran gibt es zwei unterschiedliche Machtzentren”

Konservative Kräfte in Iran und USA behindern Verhandlungen

Beitrag hören

Atomgespräche mit dem Iran in Wien.
In Wien sprechen die fünf UN-Vetomächte und Deutschland mit dem Iran über dessen Kapazitäten zur Anreicherung von Uran. (dpa / Hans Punz)

Die Verhandlungen um das Atomprogramm des Iran werden durch innenpolitische Vorbehalte auf beiden Seiten behindert, glaubt der Politikwissenschaftler Jochen Hippler.

Starker innenpolitischer Widerstand in beiden Ländern mache die Verhandlungen doppelt schwierig, sagte Hippler im Deutschlandradio Kultur. Insofern gebe es auf beiden Seiten noch bestimmte Probleme, die gelöst werden müssten.

Mit der Präsidentschaft Hassan Rohanis habe es zwar einen neuen Ton in der Regierung gegeben, meinte Hippler:

“Das Problem ist jetzt nur, dass diese positive Anfangssituation so ein Fenster der Möglichkeiten eröffnet hat. Dass das aber, wenn man das lange hinauszögert, sich schließen wird. Also die reaktionären, konservativen Kräfte in Teheran, angeführt vom Führer Chamene’i, die versuchen tatsächlich wieder Boden gutzumachen. Je schneller es geht, desto besser wäre es eigentlich für die Verhandlungen.”

Auf die Frage, ob das weitgehende Schweigen Teherans zum aktuellen Konflikt zwischen Israel und Palästina als ein Zeichen Richtung Westen zu verstehen sei, entgegnete Hippler:

“Ich glaube, dass wir in Teheran jetzt tatsächlich unterschiedliche Machtzentren haben, die sich in solchen grundlegenden Fragen nicht immer einig sind.”

Präsident Rohani und sein Außenminister Sarif wünschten sich zwar eine grundlegende Neuorientierung der Außenpolitik, dürften das aber nicht so offen sagen.

“Weil die reaktionären Kreise in Teheran sonst halt noch destruktiver werden und auch gefährlich sind. Die haben die Kontrolle über das Justizsystem, über die bewaffneten Kräfte, über die Medien. Da hat tatsächlich die gewählte Regierung nur einen begrenzten Handlungsspielraum.”

Deshalb sei das Interesse von Präsident Rohani, eine grundsätzlich bessere Beziehung zum Westen zu bekommen, nicht immer erkennbar: “Weil das einfach innenpolitisch zu gefährlich wäre.”

MEHR ZUM THEMA:

Irans Atomanlagen – Gutes Uran, böses Uran (Deutschlandradio Kultur, 18.02.2014, Reportage)

Iran-Atomgespräche: Pokern, Feilschen, Drohen… | BR

Was läuft hinter verschlossenen Türen ab bei den Atomgesprächen mit dem Iran in Wien? Der BR berichtet.

“TALKS OVER IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM ARE MAKING LITTLE HEADWAY, WITH TEHRAN RESISTING U.”

The Iranian flag flies in front of a UN building where closed-door nuclear talks take place at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Diplomats: Iran nuke talks make little progress

Talks over Iran’s nuclear program are making little headway, with Tehran resisting U.S.-led efforts to crimp activities that could be turned toward making weapons, diplomats said Monday.

As negotiations move closer to a July 20 target date for a deal, both sides are trying to plug holes in a sketchy draft agreement.

Five days into the latest round of talks between Iran and six global powers, two diplomats told The Associated Press that there is still a disagreement on the constraints Iran is ready to accept in exchange for a full end to the sanctions stifling its economy. The diplomats demanded anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the confidential negotiations.

Tehran’s resistance was underscored late Monday when Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected pressure by the U.S. and its allies at the Vienna talks to force Iran into making concessions He said the Islamic republic would not give in to attempts by the West to greatly restrict its uranium enrichment program.

Khamenei told top officials that the country should plan as if sanctions will remain in place so that Iran will be immune to outside threats.

Khamenei said in a state television broadcast that the U.S. goal at the nuclear talks is to convince Iran to limit its uranium enrichment capacity to 10,000 Separative Work Units (SWUs) while Tehran needs at least 190,000 SWUs.

The biggest hurdle remains uranium enrichment, a process that can make reactor fuel or the core of a nuclear weapon depending on the grade of material produced. Iran, which insists it does not want such arms, now has nearly 20,000 centrifuges either on standby or churning out reactor-grade fuel.

Tehran has long demanded that it be allowed to run up to 50,000 centrifuges to power its one existing nuclear reactor, and the two diplomats said Monday’s expert talks began with no formal change in that position.

The United States wants no more than a small fraction of that number. Its strongest backers at the negotiating table are Britain, France and Germany, with Russia and China leaning to agreeing on any deal acceptable to Tehran and Washington.

Khamenei said Iran is prepared to give guarantees that it won’t weaponize its nuclear program but said the U.S., which has a record of using nuclear weapons during World War II, has no right to be worried about it.

The diplomats said there’s still disagreement over how to minimize proliferation dangers from a nearly built reactor that would produce substantial amounts of plutonium — like enriched uranium, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.

In addition, Iran is resisting pressure to turn a uranium enrichment site dug into a mountain as protection against air attack to another use, they said. Differences also exist over the length of any agreement placing limits on Tehran’s nuclear activities.

Khamenei rejected demands from the West that Iran shut down the underground Fordo enrichment site.

“On the Fordo facility, they say it should be shut down because it is not accessible and cannot be damaged. This is laughable,” Kahmenei said. “We are sure our negotiating team won’t agree that the rights of the country and the nation’s dignity be encroached,” he said.

Khamenei said “military threats” and “sanctions” are two instruments used by the U.S. to pressure Iran, but insisted that such tactics would not force Iran to give in.

“Sanctions must be thwarted through struggles in the field of resistance economy. And military threats are just words since it’s not affordable,” he said. “Economic planning should take this assumption that the enemy won’t reduce sanctions one iota. Don’t let the enemy affect your calculations.”

Khamenei, however, offered words of strong support for moderate President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration has been accused by hardliners of selling out Iran’s nuclear achievements.

“I endorse and support the government and will use everything in my power to back it … we trust our negotiating team,” he said.

Iran and the six-nation group signed an interim deal last November in Geneva that curtailed Iran’s enrichment program in return for an easing of some sanctions. Under the historic deal, Tehran stopped enrichment of uranium to 20 percent – which is just steps away from bomb-making grade – in exchange for the easing of some Western sanctions. It has diluted half of its 20 percent enriched uranium into 5 percent and is to turn the remaining half into oxide, which is very difficult to be used for bomb-making materials.

yahoo.com meldet dazu: TEHRAN, Iran (AP) ? Iran’s top leader has rejected pressure by the U.S. and its allies at ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna to force Iran into making concessions, saying the West seeks to greatly restrict his country’s uranium enrichment program. weiterlesen …

reuters.com berichtet: * People, rather than companies, expected to be added to listweiterlesen …

Mitteilung von telegraph.co.uk: So much has been happening in the Middle East that the huge diplomatic effort now under way to settle the confrontation over Iran?s nuclear ambitions risks falling off the radar. But a new round of talks in Vienna began last week and the clock is ticking on a deadline of July 20 for signing a weiterlesen …

Dazu meldet sfgate.com: VIENNA (AP) ? Talks over Iran’s nuclear program are making little headway, with Tehran resisting U.S.-led efforts to crimp activities that could be turned toward making weapons, diplomats said Monday. The biggest hurdle remains uranium enrichment, a process that can make reactor fuel or the core of a nuclear weapon depending on the grade of material produced. The diplomats said there’s still disagreement over how to minimize proliferation dangers from a nearly built reactor that would weiterlesen …

Dazu schreibt foxbusiness.com weiter: Diplomats say Iran continues to resist efforts to crimp nuclear activities that could be used to make weapons, with the clock ticking down on a July 20 target date for a deal. weiterlesen …

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