Protesters amassed the morning of Wednesday, June 22, to rally against Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s visit to France to foster trade cooperation talks before he goes on to the Hague in Netherlands later this week.
Outside Paris’s Pantheon building the protesters chanted ‘Zarif assassin; Zarif terrorist’, illustrated in a video clip posted by the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Committee in Support of Human Rights in Iran (CSDHI).
It is apparent that this public demonstration but also this social media campaign is against the Iranian FM’s visit on European soil to discuss trade deals. But beyond the graphics and imagery denouncing the Iranian FM as ‘assassin’ and ‘terrorist’, there is disenchantment with the lack of responsibility being taken by the international community to speak out on the matter.
This week former French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault, also Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Development, will have the ear of the Iranian FM during trade and cooperation deals. However, there are indications that Ayrault will remain silent on the issue of human rights violations, as has been true of all high-ranking EU officials.
The demonstrators demand that EU officials express their condemnation of the Iranian regime’s dire human rights record. A total of 64 people were executed by the regime in May alone, many occurring at the same time that European heads of state, MPs, and high-ranking UN officials were in talks with the regime.
President of the organization Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme Pierre Bercis stood in solidarity with the protesters telling them that while ‘the Iranian Foreign Minister is visiting to conduct business, French investors are taking a risk beyond the scope of what they realize if they choose to invest in Iran.
Bercis is referring to the Iran nuclear agreement in which trade sanctions were lifted allowing the international community to enter into trade agreements with the Iranian government. Former Iranian journalist, Mr. Naziri, speaking as a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Committee in Support of Human Rights in Iran (CSDHI) comments:
“In the Iranian regime there’s a seemingly open dialogue, but the nuclear agreement has not revealed as yet any positive impact on the society of Iranian people, and concerning the nature of the clerical regime it shows an absence of political stability.”
Social media continued through the day transmitting the message to the concerned supporters against the Iranian regime in the international community. Firouz Mahvi’s tweet promoting the demonstration was retweeted 48 times.
Touching on the contentious issue of the Iranian regime’s support of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, 4FreedomInIran’s tweet highlighting the murder of Syrian & Iranian people @FranceDiplo_EN #No2rouh[a]i #directsenat’ received 104 shares.
The Iranian FM’s trip to Paris was preceded by visits to Stockholm, Warsaw, Riga, Oslo and Berlin, and is to be followed with further trade cooperation talks in The Hague. On Wednesday French journalists were invited to the French Senate by the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Committee in Support of Human Rights in Iran (CSDHI) to speak with eminent members of the Syrian and Iranian opposition on the situation of human rights, related to trade talks (read here).
Furthermore a statement released by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) also condemns the mullahs’ regime calling engagement into a wider discussions on the regime’s human rights’ violations saying “despite the world powers’ nuclear deal with the Iranian regime, Hassan Rouhani’s government continues to torture and hang prisoners. Iran remains the number one state executioner per capita.”