High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini is scheduled to travel to Tehran for the inauguration in her capacity as the Chair of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA. In addition to attending his inauguration for his second term, she will also have bilateral meetings with various Iranian dignitaries to review the state of implementation of the nuclear deal and to discuss issues of bilateral and regional relevance, according to a statement released by the European Union.
Individuals are expressing concern about this visit, since her press statement did not include any mention of human rights, including the prison conditions and executions of political prisoners. Under the #No2Rouhani, hundreds have expressed concern that this visit is a show of support to the regime that doesn’t acknowledge the increase in repression to crush any aspirations or hopes of regime change.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) also voiced its calls for justice for those who were part of the 1988 massacre, while at the same time, voicing concern for current political prisoners.
“The Iranian Resistance is issuing a warning regarding the lives of 53 political prisoners in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran, who have been attacked and transferred to a different location. These measures are taking place as the Iranian people mark the 29th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners,” said the NCRI tweet. They also noted that the regime has managed the country through “execution and imprisonment.”
Others argued that any visits to the regime during this time would serve as tactical approval, thus insuring more executions and inhuman treatment.
“The Iranian authorities are preparing to adopt a deeply disappointing piece of legislation, which will continue to fuel Iran’s execution machine and help maintain its position as one of the world’s top executioners,” said Iran Freedom in a tweet. “The choice between life or death should not come down to a crude mathematical calculation based on a quantity of drugs seized from an individual.”
The last section of the Iran Freedom tweet referenced the fact that executions for drug-related charges are common in Iran. In July alone, over a dozen or more were executed for drug-related offences. International organizations, such as the UN, and NGOs have all called for a moratorium on executions in Iran, but despite these calls and the international law, the regime continues its executions.
Others noted that after visits from European leaders, more executions occurred. They argued that European leaders need to take a stand against Iranian extremism and not curry favor in pursuit of a financial windfall. Europe must speak out to halt the killings.
Continued visits by Western leaders will continue to be a powder keg, particularly with the Iranian opposition, who is watching the regime continue its spree of executions with little in the way of consequences from the international community.