That rally is expected to include members of the Iranian expatriate community, but also native Frenchmen, members of the French parliament, and other international supporters. The NCRI reported on Monday that a number of French lawmakers had attended a conference on Sunday to express solidarity with the Iranian dissident organization and its cause of calling attention to ongoing human rights abuses and regional destabilization under the Rouhani government.
This represents only a portion of the Western backlash that has developed against the policy of rapprochement that has so far resulted in the July 14 nuclear agreement and the embrace of Rouhani during this week’s visit. The US Congress has arguably led this backlash among Western government institutions, although the Obama administration has conversely led the way in opening up relations with Iran.
On Monday, The Hill reported that Florida Republican Representative Dennis Ross had announced plans to introduce a bill formally rebuking the president for his intention to defy recent legislation barring natives of and visitors to the Islamic Republic from receiving visa waivers from the State Department. Such incidents highlight the strong counter-trends running throughout Western governments with regard to Iran policy.
Those counter-trends have also presented themselves in the context of recent development such as last week’s release of four Americans held captive in Iran, in exchange for seven Iranians held by the US. Whereas the Obama administration and its allies have welcomed that exchange as evidence of newfound Iranian willingness to strike deals with its adversaries in the West, critics of rapprochement have seized upon it to highlight the persistence of Iranian abuses in spite of these occasional concessions.
On Monday, an editorial in the Washington Post commented upon the release of that paper’s own journalist, who had been held in Iran for 545 days and falsely convicted of espionage. The article argued that the international attention that had been brought to Rezaian’s case made it convenient for the regime to release him, but that the same could not be said of the great many other journalists imprisoned in the country.