Stop negotiating now because Iran cannot be trusted. It would be beneficial to be able to negotiate with Iran about managing its nuclear program with honesty and transparency, but that is impossible because one essential step blocks the way. That is, Iran must accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the contents therein.
A story reported by Benjamin Weinthal by FoxNews.com underscores the reason why this must be a prerequisite. Citizens inside Iran are persecuted by the theocracy for a number of things including being Christians. It isn’t so much the specific religious orientation that matters as much as it is for the rights of people to believe and live as they wish without persecution for living outside the boundaries of Islam.
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”
Iran cannot be trusted in any negotiations until it has accepted the essence of this declaration.
“UN report blasts Iran for persecution of Christians, other religious minorities
By Benjamin Weinthal
Published March 21, 2014
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claims to be a moderate, but he has had little positive impact on the plight of religious minorities in the Islamic republic. (AP)
The election last year of self-professed moderate President Hassan Rouhani has not brought Iran's Christians any relief, according to a new United Nations report which finds the Islamic Republic's Bible believers more persecuted than ever.
The detailed report finds Iran has continued to imprison Christians for their faith and designated house churches and evangelical Christians as "threats to national security.” At least 49 Christians were among 307 religious minorities being held in Iranian jails as of January 2014, noted the UN, which also blasted the regime for its hostility to Jews, Baha’is, Zoroastrians and Dervish Muslims, the UN report stated.
“These are indicators that President Rouhani has no influence over hard-liners, who remain fully in charge of the judiciary and security apparatus, government entities that are responsible for the most severe abuses against religious minorities," Dwight Bashir, deputy director for policy at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com.
“The situation of Christians and other religious minorities in Iran is very dire because the Iranian regime is a Sharia state.” “This dictatorship oppresses viciously all these precious groups with the abhorrent justification of Islamic law [Sharia] and by that it violates Iran's constitution and a long-lasting tradition within Persian culture of peaceful tolerance and respect towards fellow Iranians with diverse religious backgrounds,” Farzan said.
- Saba Farzan, Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy
Benjamin Weinthal reports on the Christians in the Middle East. He is a fellow at the Foundation For Defense of Democracies.”