By Rob Roberts
June 13, Oslo: On Tuesday (14 June 2016) around 100 prominent mediators of armed conflict and peace process actors will be welcomed in Oslo by Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Børge Brende. Included amongst the participants invited to share their experiences of peacemaking will be Iranian Foreign Minister Mr. Javad Zarif at this year’s 2016 Oslo Forum.
Yesterday evening former Norwegian MP Mr. Lars Rise for his reaction on hearing that the Iranian FM is speaking at this year’s Oslo Forum.And we suggested that surely having open dialogue with these perpetrators of war crimes is better than to freeze them out of discussions?
‘Absolutely’ Mr. Rise agreed tentatively, but called into question the motivations of the International Community, many players of whom will attend the Oslo Forum, saying that ‘if the dialogue was about all the atrocities and all the terrorists acts planned in Tehran that day, or putting the cards on the table on all the bad and evil things they are executing from week to week, then of course it would be a fruitful dialogue. But to invite them as a sort of expert on peacemaking is just really shameful.’
A total of 64 people were executed by the regime in May alone, many occurring at the same time that EU heads of state, MPs but also high ranking UN officials have been in talks with the regime. And at arms reach attending tomorrow's Oslo Forum, jointly organized by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), will be Frederica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs.
Social media campaigns are running with hashtags #OsloForum #No2Rouhani #FreeIran #Iran #Norway condemning the Iranian Foreign Minister’s European visit to Norway. Which will also continue to condemn the Iran FMs trip to Germany on Thursday.
In light of Iran’s continued human rights’ violations, Mr. Lars Rise also a former Parliamentary Assembly member of the Council of Europe is critical that trade sanctions have been lifted on Iran saying ‘I’m really sorry that the sanctions have been lifted. They should never have been lifted. We need strong pre-conditions in order to have anything to do with Iran, because, I mean, Iran is not even close to fulfill anything when it comes to pre-conditions on human rights.’
Various human rights’ organizations are ready to also condemn the silence of EU member state governments and MPs if they fail to speak out against the regime’s continued abuses. Humanitarian organizations will themselves, alongside urging the Norwegian government to do so, release statements condemning the increasing human rights’ violations by the Iranian regime.
Focus will be on Norway’s government on Tuesday and Wednesday, then following Mr. Zarif into Germany on Thursday, to see if its governments push for open dialogue on the human rights’ situation in Iran.
Related to this issue in a call to The Media Express news agency a spokesperson of Iran’s main opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) Mr. Shahin Gobadi talked about the consequences of EU member states receiving Iranian MPs for cooperation talks highlighting that: ‘this sort of [diplomatic] trip only emboldens the clerical regime in its wave of executions and suppression inside Iran as well as its war mongering and export of terror outside of Iranian borders.’
The position of the PMOI is clearly that ‘we think any improvement of relationships with this regime should be conditioned upon improvement of the human rights’ situation in Iran, particularly the halting of executions.’
Furthermore The Media Express also spoke with the former European Parliament Vice-President, Mr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras asking about the responsibility of high ranking EU officials to engage in candid talks about Iran’s human rights’ violations with the Iranian FM.
Mr. Vidal-Quadras, who is currently president of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ), said Western [EU member] countries must profit where there is more dialogue. [We must] increase diplomatic and economic pressure, not decrease it, in the domain of human rights.’
Change for Iran must be applied economic[ally] but also [through] diplomatic pressures.