Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Norway
After visiting Finland and Sweden in the last few days, the Iranian Foreign Minister is visiting Norway. This is the first visit of a high-rank Iranian official after the attack on the Norwegian oil tanker in the Straits of Hormuz.
the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, has started his Nordic visits to Finland, Sweden, and Norway. The purpose of these visits have been defined as: “Negotiation over INSTEX (The Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges), Also what EU needs to do to save JCPOA (The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and protect its interest in freedom of navigation in the Middle East region.”
However, due to increasing American pressure on the Iranian government, the experts believe that these trips aim to avert international isolation of Iran. It seems like the Iranian authorities concentrated their efforts to win the world’s heart even by twisting the truth and Mr. Zarif, being the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been assigned this mission.
Minister and Professor
Between January and February, 2018, more than15 environmental activists were arrested in Iran. They are accused of multiple charges punishable by death. This case got more complicated when one of them died in custody. The authorities, however, announced that he committed suicide. This claim was rejected by the family of the deceased and was described as suspicious by Amnesty International. In February 2019, Zarif attended the Munich Security Conference, where he was asked about the jailed environmental activists. As an answer to the question, he said:” As a Professor of human rights for 30 years. I believe human rights for us [Iran] is a security requirement – not a moral nicety.”
In other conferences and interviews, he denies all the assembled evidence which discloses that the Iranian authorities suppress the Bahai’s, Labour rights activists and women’s rights activists. In his recent news conference in Sweden, he said: “In Iran, people are not being prosecuted and executed due to their sexual orientation.”. He, thereby, ‘forgets’ the reports that defy his statement. In November 2003, the Human Rights Organization announced that two Iranian men, charged with ‘homosexuality’ were executed in Shiraz, Iran.
Head of the Diplomatic system
Zarif likes to present himself as the head of the diplomatic system of Iran. But in the Iranian power structure, some ministers, such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, are chosen directly by the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This means that the minister is just parroting the Leader’s decisions.
For example; when Zarif was invited to the White House in Washington, he was instructed from Tehran to decline the invitation. The experts analyzed that the invitation from the White House was a sign that the US is willing to negotiate with Iran, but the Iranian authorities refused to negotiate with the US.
The invitation and subsequent decline were the best opportunity for the Iranian authorities to brag about their Iranian power to reject the offer by the US, and excite their domestic fans and maximize their propaganda to boot. Although most Iranians, and people around the world for that matter, know that the Iranian and US authorities have always secretly negotiated with each other.
The European opportunity
A few reasons made Iranians authorities lean toward Europe. The experts believe that the Iranian authorities need the existence of the enemy in their ideology to survive. They can sustain their hegemony on the nation by keep reminding people about foreign enemies, in this case is the USA and Israel. On the other hand, after the 2009 controversial election, the Iranian people show hatred and distrust toward the Russian government as well. But Europeans could preserve the unique position among both the Iranian people and authorities. Historically, it is proven that a firm and united stand can make the Iranian authorities respect international standards. Although the Swedish police did not handle the protesters in Stockholm very well. Consequently, Europe, including Norway, can use the economy to force the Iranian authorities to adapt to international norms and, thus, stop the constant violation of human rights in Iran.
This article is written by Zahra Moravvej for Norway Today.
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