Human Rights

On August 6, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was named the new head of Iran’s Supreme Court.  Montazeri, formerly Iran’s attorney general, has been sanctioned by the United States, United Kingdom, and

For years, the U.S. government has maintained an expansive sanctions architecture against the Islamic Republic of Iran—under both Democratic and Republican administrations. But its European allies’ sanctions infrastructure pales in comparison. There has been great scrutiny focused in recent weeks on what U.S. partners have been contributing or withholding in the pressure campaign against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine—namely Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Since its inception, the Islamic Republic has treated dual-citizens and foreign nationals as bargaining chips in its negotiations with the West, imprisoning individuals on spurious charges while using their detainment as diplomatic leverage.

Nearly 40 years ago I was held hostage in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for nearly six months. I know what it is like to endure the brutality of the Iranian regime, but I got to come home to America. More than 80 million people are forced to absorb the regime’s blows to their basic human rights every day, and have done so since 1979. Dissidents and proponents of human rights from inside Iran need our support now more than ever. Because, as the regime rots from within, it is working overtime to silence and snuff out brave voices of opposition.

In the middle of his eclectic March 3 interview with the Tehran Times, Guardian journalist Saeed Dehghan mentions, almost as an aside, “The story of me is like the story of Masih Alinejad… But God willing, I managed to detect this a bit later on... I chose not to become the kind of person Masih Alinejad represents today. We both have similarities, we’re both emotional and prone to manipulation.”

On Monday, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian explained how Tehran was further brutalizing its journalists through “sustained intimidation and surveillance.” In conversations with journalists inside Iran, Rezaian noted how Tehran was finding new, less overtly inflammatory methods to disable freedom of expression.

Iran dropped 12 places to 103rd (out of 129 countries) in the 2019 International Property Rights Index (IPRI), an annual report published by the D.C.-based Property Rights Alliance which measures how well countries protect physical, legal and intellectual property.

Could there be a sharper illustration of European hypocrisy on Iran as Norway’s conduct during a single week in November?

Iran’s leaders have survived yet another challenge to their rule from an increasingly restive population.  The November demonstrations protesting an increase in gasoline prices were the largest since 2009.  Iran’s officials – who tend to downplay unrest – have claimed that as many as 200,000 people took to the streets..