Iranian Foreign Minister Nominated for Peace Prize as Iran Exports Terrorism and Instability

    Iranian Foreign Minister Nominated for Peace Prize as Iran Exports Terrorism and Instability

    Oct 6, Oslo: In a twist of fate, the regime, which has continued to fund militias and been active in military actions throughout the Middle East and rack up human rights abuses, has a member of its government nominated for the Noble Peace prize.

    Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, received his nomination for his role in convening the process that led to the JCPOA and the easing of sanctions against Tehran in return for nuclear restrictions.

    “The threat of the use of nuclear-arm force is more real than it has been, with North Korea being in play as well,” said Henrik Urdal, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo. “It’s important to support initiatives that prevent the development and proliferation of nuclear arms.”

    The Trump administration has been vocal about the inadequacies of the JCPOA, and is considering pulling the United States out by not certifying that Iran is meeting its obligations in October. The regime, which has a history of being untrustworthy, has continued its human rights violations and fueling instability within the region. These were areas that were not addressed by the JCPOA.

    Middle East powers, including Saudi Arabia, have criticized the agreement, noting that it empowers the theocracy of Iran to the detriment of regional security and stability. Skeptics aren’t satisfied that the IAEA is being given access to all of Iran’s facilities, especially its military ones, making their findings incomplete. For instance, Iran acknowledged its two main uranium enrichment plants only after they were exposed by Iranian opposition outside of Iran.

    For many Iranians who oppose the regime, this nomination appears to be perverse and appears to ignore the many horrific examples of the regime’s oppression of human rights and the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.
    Various officials from the regime have noted that it is Iran’s responsibility to support the globalization of Islam, which is used as an excuse for their interference throughout the region.

    "Today, it is not like the desert of Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea is a place outside this country and do not belong to it; Islam (read the borders of the mullahs’ regime) has been formed there,” said Ahmad Alamo al-Hoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts, on August 18.

    Nowhere is this more starkly illustrated than in Syria. Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have actively propped up the government of Assad, who has allowed chemical weapons to be used on his own people. As a result, Iran has gained territorial control over swaths of Syria, and holding these areas with the IRGC and militias funded by Iran.

    According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the replacement of ISIS with the IRGC and militias in Syria or Iraq, using the conditions that the international coalition provides, is the biggest danger today threatening the region. Therefore, the NCRI argues, the IRGC and militants should not be allowed to seize more parts of Syria with the help of the Assad army.

    Zarif, in addition to supporting the actions of the regime, has himself shown support for terrorism. Mostafa Badreddin, who has countless acts of terrorism on his record and was being tried in the International Criminal Court for participating in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, died and Zarif ordered his deputy to take part in the funeral as the head of a political and security delegation.

    In July 2015, Zarif also praised Assad for his fight against terrorism and for coordinating the killing of the Syrian people. He has continued to pay tribute to individuals who have played a part in terrorism throughout the Middle East and beyond.

    For Zarif, the nuclear agreement was a chance to infuse funds into the regime, while giving it the much-needed lift of sanctions to allow the regime to be taken more seriously on the international stage. The NCRI has repeatedly noted that the JCPOA was a means of giving concessions to the regime at the expense of the Iranian people.

    Other human rights groups have continued to point to the high rate of executions within Iran and the overall lack of due process for individuals who choose to protest and speak out against the actions of the regimeTwitter has also exploded with comments by those who see Zarif nomination as ignoring the human rights violations of the regime and its continued support of militias as key reasons that the nomination should be rescinded. Amnesty International has also noted that human rights advocates are under attack in Iran, often dealing with harsh prison sentences and torture for their efforts to address the human rights abuses within the country.

    The point of the Noble Peace Prize is to draw attention to those whose activities are contributing to the international efforts to bring peace to all peoples. Instead, this nomination seems to indicate that peace can be bought at the expense of a nation of people and those actions will be rewarded. 

    The Oslo Times International News Network


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