Peter Tatchell in The Guardian‘s Comment is Free
“The west is obsessed with Tehran’s nuclear programme, but doesn’t give a damn about human rights abuses.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed three more Arab political prisoners, just days after a visit from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour. In further defiance of the UN and international law, four more Arabs face imminent execution.
There have been no protests from Britain, the EU or the UN. The UN’s silence comes on top of the truly appalling vote by UN Human Rights Council to abandon its monitoring of human rights abuses in Iran.
The only thing the west seems to care about is Iran’s nuclear programme. Human rights abuses do not concern Washington, London or Brussels. Nor do they concern President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Both men have warmly embraced the tyrant of Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Arab League, the supposed defender of Arab peoples worldwide, is equally indifferent. It has refused to protest to Iran about the persecution of ethnic Arabs in the south-west of the country – the oil-rich region Tehran calls Khuzestan, but which the indigenous Arab peoples call al-Ahwaz.