Friday, July 31, 2015

Fabius and climate talks in Tehran

Tehran has been hosting high level diplomatic delegations since the nuclear settlement. One after the other political and economic figures have arrived to enhance and strengthen relations. Lauren Fabius, the French Foreign Minister, was the most recent among them. He arrived on Wednesday to meet, Dr. Zarif, President Rouhani, ministers of industry and petroleum. 
As Fabius is the future President of the COP21, the climate negotiations that must lead to a new agreement by the end of 2015, he also came to visit me at Pardisan Park later in the afternoon.
Areas of bilateral cooperation, green technologies, renewable energy and air pollution control were discussed . We also spoke on the various hurdles ahead of the climate negotiations. The issue of common but differentiated responsibilites eluding to the historical responsibility of industrialised countries which have a long history of GHG emissions was brought up. I also noted of the need to take more practical steps and commitments by countries of the North. A balanced, equitable and sustainable deal which addresses mitigation as well as adaptation and the damages countries are facing is required. I noted that our government will collaborate to achieve those ends. I also made note of the steps Iran is taking for energy efficiency as well as renewable energies. The damages Iran faces now due to climatic changes including higher temperatures, lower precipitation and less snow resulting in degradation of natural resources and agriculture were also discussed. I mentioned that the episodes of dust storms were also  increasing in incidence and intensity. Mr. Fabius invited me to attend a consultation session with ministers in Paris ahead of the COP21 session. I also asked him finally whether he thought the COP talks would be more difficult than the nuclear negotiations.

We moved to the lobby of the main building of the DOE to  meet the large group of reporters and respond to some questions.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hopes on the Horizon

Hopes on the Horizon

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful the Compassionate

The agreement between Iran and 5 +1 on the nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic has been coined as a major historical event which has changed the course of events not only with respect to relationships among these nations but also at the broader international level. This new page in history has brought into light the real image of Iran.  Adversaries for a long time, used a name calling game to label Iran as a threat, as irrational and hostile in mainstream media, they had invested on creating a negative and fearsome image .  Iran was portrayed as a source of instability and threat for the region, Iranophobia was advertised to ensure a constant sales of arms to the Sheikhdoms of Persian Gulf. Iran was excessively threatened  and pressured for several years. Unnecessary and illegal sanctions were adopted against Iran, including chapter 7 resolutions which could take a country to military confrontation. A continuation of that trend would have eventually lead to escalation of conflicts in the very volatile west Asian region. While the sanctions did pressure the economy and environment in Iran, the nation withstood the pressures. Iranians were never prepared to submit or to relinquish their rights as a dignified member of the global community.
In the Presidential elections of 2013 the people of Iran voted for a change in both  domestic politics and international diplomacy. They voted so that the nuclear issue would be resolved in a peaceful and balanced manner, protecting the rights of Iran to peaceful nuclear technologies but also addressing international concerns.  Dr. Rouhani was elected by the people to change the previous trends and address both national and international challenges in a rational manner. In addition to the weight that the Rouhani administration gave to curbing inflation and improving conditions for the workplace and employment ,special emphasis was placed on environmental standards and mainstreaming sustainable development policy as well as a robust health care scheme which was implemented nationwide. As his government was tackling the very difficult internal issues, Dr. Rouhani mandated the Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif and his team to engage with the 5+1 for a serious resolution of the nuclear issue. According to many observers, the Iranian negotiating team were both very qualified and experienced but also knowledgeable on the technical matters, particularly since Dr. Salehi the current Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation joined them.  A regional power negotiated competently for several months with six major global powers , even as the stream of events unfolded it became clear that Iranians, clear on their rights and objectives, are patient and polite and as Zarif noted clearly “ Iranians are not to be threatened”. After a lengthly process of negotiations where many issues were resolved and both sides made possible concessions, hardliners from both sides began a campaign to derail and spoil the processes. Also those who felt that their interests were undermined began a smearing campaign. The highest political will on all sides and specifically the support of the Supreme Leader, who indicated his full trust for the negotiating team, paved way for the final round and ultimate settlement.
A longstanding conflict between Iran and the West came to a settlement which can prevent a new war and military adventures in the region. Many clashes in the  world have led to armed conflict and loss of human life, this is a new chapter in the international scene where a conflict is resolved through tedious and long months of negotiations. This is an example of a win win outcome where both sides believe they have gained. The strong message of peace and reconciliation that this agreement sends in a world marred by the terrible violence and killings of the extremists and terrorists, is a beacon of hope for the world and can serve as an example for others.
 The Holy Quran has  many lessons for humankind, it makes a clear reference to such examples in the verse Fuselat ayat 34 : “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.”

Friday, July 10, 2015

Quds Day, Unity for Justice, Peace

People and government have been celebrating the last Friday of Ramadhan as Quds day in Iran for 34 years. Many other nations have also embraced the celebration during these years. Millions march in support of the Palestinian cause and condemn the atrocities and oppression of the zionsts. The issue of Palestine stands today as a stark symbol of global injustice and mismanagement with no clear solution in sight.

International instititions and major powers have failed to act properly and to save innocent civilian lives in many instances including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Gaza. This incompetence has led to despair and has fuelled hatred and violence in the world. Today many analysts have found evidence to believe that DAESH is a fabrication of Western and Zionists intelligence services, to create discord and hatred against Muslims and to give a very wrong message about a religion preaching love and compassion for humanity.

The marchers of Quds day were mostly Shias supporting the cause of Palestinains who are mostly Sunnis. The march was a demonstration of unity and fraternity of all humanity against oppression and war. Muslims and all believers in righteousness and peace marched today to demonstrate their solidarity against oppression.


A group of researchers have done some valuable work to expose the extent and dimensions of the genocide in Gaza. It is notable that while the recent condemnation of the Gaza massacre in 2014 as genocide by the Human Rights Commission is a valuable action it is only the begining of a process which could shed light on this calamity.

CSI: Gaza - Forensic Architects Map Devastation in Gaza to Show Human Rights Violations