The political situation in the entire Middle East is linked even with Iran the Iranian situation. The government’s opposition in the parliament wants to preserve the system that is based on the Watchdog Council – practically one man dictatorship under the rule of Sharia laws.
Iran has for a long time been in a deep economic crisis. The regime has used the great fear in Western countries of Iran’s nuclear program to save the difficult economic situation. This is also a way to get the world put less attention to what really happens in Iran when it comes to human rights, civil rights, freedom and democracy. Apparently during 35 years the Islamic regime in Iran has succeeded in manipulating a potential part of the Iranian people – especially from the poorest even the middle -class. The poor people are a large group and they have however neither power nor money. These groups more or less dependent of economic resources and the regime has made some economic reforms during the elections for families with children. One reason why people vote for the regime. These reforms does not mean any radical change in the economy of the families. It means only bread for a few days in many ways. No opposition force from the upper classes, the middle class or the working class have any alternative to present today. The so called reformists in the parliament have no alternative. They are a part of the system.
The Iranian regime has always tried to find external enemies and/or alliances in order to maintain its own power and get confidence in domestic policy. If we look at Iran’s role in supporting Shiite authorities in Iraq, the Iranian regime has won influence in Iraq and in other neighboring countries. Just like some western powers they use religion in order to legitimize and maintain their positions of power. Look at the war in Syria which has developed into the worst conflict in the region where now many dirty hands are involved like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Iraq etc. But also several Western powers and Russia support the regime and/or the fragmented opposition.
After the elections of a new president and Iran´s first steps has been taken in letting inspectors from IAEA visit Iranian nuclear plants ministers of foreign affairs from many countries have been eager to visit Iran in order to make business. Some sanctions from the European Union have been ceased. Even the Swedish minister of foreign affair, Carl Bildt, has visited Iran.
But has anything else important happened in Iran? Of course it is a good thing that inspectors from IAEA can visit Iran. But has anything important happened when it comes to the situation of the Iranian people – when it comes to human right, the rights of women and democratic rights in general. The answer is – nothing. The regime is still executing and putting oppositional people in prison. There is no change in the terror against the people. And it is still ayatollah Khamenei, the spiritual leader, and not the president, and not the parliament which is in power. And the parliament is as I earlier wrote not really elected – it is selected. The candidates on the lists were all selected by the Watchdog Council.
What will be the result of the new step in Iranian foreign policy. The Iranian economy is in deep crises. Most of the economic problems are a product of the politics of an economically incompetent leadership. The sanctions from EU have also had some effect. International isolation is not good for any government.
Regime wanted to break its isolation, make the economy a little better and present this as a political victory to the people. But the brutality of regime is going on as usual. There will be no change for the people.
What has happened, as I see it, is following: The Iranian regime has threatened the world peace by building nuclear plants. The regime has used this threat in order to break its economic isolation and increase economic relations with the western countries (foreign trade, investments a.s.o.).
Enterprises in western countries are of course also interested in relations with Iran. But enterprises outside are in general more interested in strict economic contacts with Iran but less interested in the struggle for human rights. Governments often listen to the enterprises in their own countries. They support enterprises from its own countries to make business in Iran.
But governments are also sensitive to popular opinions (nation and international) which are protesting against the crimes against democratic and human rights in Iran. Therefore they say that they have started a dialog with the Iranian regime.
This concept has already been in practices. For several years the European Union, during the times of Rafsanjani and Khatami, there was a so called dialog going on – without any result at all. EU talked, the Iranian regime did not listen and did nothing.
So now we are back in the Rafsanjani and Khatami days.
Business will go on and perhaps develop. But there is no automatic relation between a developing foreign trades and increasing respect for democratic and human rights, which is an idea supported of many European leader, for example, the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt. As I see it historical experience denies this.
If Canada’s government will start the relationship and dialogue with Iran should unlike Sweden and other Western countries to be related to human rights and freedom of the people of Iran, at least when it comes to women’s and children’s rights. This expectation has both I and many others into exile Iranians and people inside the country of Iran.
First of all enlighten governments all over the world must defend the women´s human rights when it comes to countries like Iran and Iraq where women are extremely oppressed and discriminated. If study the situation of human rights you must first of all look upon the women´s situation and the whole situation will revealed. In Iran women have been in a terrible situation – they are discriminated in the legal system compared to men in a very brutal way.
Governments which themselves don´t use penalty of death must force the Iranian government not use penalty of death and stop all executions. They should do this in all international fora.
Democratic governments all over the world must put pressure on the Iranian government an force it to respect democratic rights like freedom of the press, freedom of expression in general, the freedom for people to organize themselves in political and trade union organizations.
Governments must also demand that religion must be separated from religion. Religion must leave the political arena and return to the Mosque and to the Church. The state must be separated from religious institutions.
Governments all over the world the juridical system must be separated from religion. You cannot let educated lawyers be replaced by priests and mullahs, who can sentence people to death because their ideas”are against God”.
Government must be very careful and restrictive when it comes to business with Iran. Sanctions cannot be used as a general method because they often does not hit against the regime but against the people. But for example export of weapons and different kinds of telecommunications that can be used for spying and overhearing should be stopped.