August 1, 2015

HELPING THEM FORCE THE CONTRADICTIONS:

Iranian Dissidents Explain Why They Support the Nuclear Deal : We know what politicians from the U.S. to Israel think about the Iran nuclear deal. How about asking some opponents of Iran's regime? (DANNY POSTEL, 7/22/15, In These Times)

"All of the individuals interviewed felt sanctions and Iran's international isolation have profoundly hurt Iranian society," the report's authors note, "negatively affecting all spheres of economic, political, and cultural life, with especially dire consequences for the lower socioeconomic strata."

"We hope an agreement is reached and that it is signed, so that our nation can take a breath after all this prolonged pressure."
--Shahla Lahiji (Publisher, Roshangaran and Women Studies Publishers)

"Problems caused by the sanctions are palpable in every home right now."
--Ahmad Shirzad (university professor and former member of Parliament)

"[M]any of our patients have problems obtaining their medication and medications are expensive. ... [M]any of our passenger airplanes have ... no repair facilities ... and we can't [get] spare parts."
--Abbas Ghaffari (film director)

"[An agreement] will have its first impact on society's collective mental state. While many predict this might be short-lived ... the psychological impact of this victory in the different sectors of the society will definitely not be short-lived. Such a positive impact can even move people to take action to improve their conditions."
--a journalist in Tehran and former political prisoner (anonymous)

"If we reach an agreement, good opportunities in every area will definitely develop, and we can demand our rights as human beings." 
--Mahmoud Dolatabadi (author)

"[Failed negotiations] would cause terrible damage to the people and to social, cultural, political, and economic activities. The highest cost imposed by the sanctions is paid by the people, particularly the low-income and vulnerable groups." 
--Fakhrossadat Mohtashamipour (civil society activist and wife of a political prisoner)

"[Failure to reach a deal will result in] an intensification of anti-West political tendencies in Iran [which] will help the overall anti-Western currents in the region, even if indirectly."
--a civil rights lawyer in Tehran (anonymous)

"Social hopelessness would increase drastically [if the agreement fell through]. People would once again lose their motivation for reforms. ... The failure of the negotiations would equal the failure of moderates and the strengthening of the radical camp. ... The atmosphere for cultural activities and journalism would become tremendously more difficult. ... [A] continuation of sanctions would place the country in a defensive mode ... [and] the domestic security organs would increasingly pressure the media and journalists in order to silence any voices of dissent." 
--a journalist in Tehran and former political prisoner (anonymous)

This last comment echoes the sentiments of Akbar Ganji, one of Iran's leading democratic dissidents who almost died on a hunger strike behind bars. "As a former Iranian political prisoner who spent six years in the Islamic Republic's jails and whose writings have been banned in Iran, I support the [nuclear] agreement," he has written. Reaching a nuclear deal, he argued, would "gradually remove the warlike and securitized environment from Iran." The Iranian political scientist Sadegh Zibakalam recently made a similar point.

"We hope an agreement is reached and that it is signed, so that our nation can take a breath after all this prolonged pressure" said tranlator and publisher Shahla Lahiji. (International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran)


61 percent of the respondents believe that reaching a deal on the nuclear issue "should facilitate progress toward greater rights and liberties" and that "the nation's attention, previously monopolized by the negotiations, could now turn to critical domestic issues, among them, the state of basic freedoms in Iran," according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

That is, on the real issues in Iran. Or, to use an old-fashioned phrase, removing the nuclear issue--and the concomitant economic sanctions and threats of external military action--could "heighten the contradictions" within the Islamic Republic. 

Posted by at August 1, 2015 6:50 PM
  

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