Washington DC – On the announcement of the P5+1 meeting with Iran on October 1 and the initiation of diplomatic talks, the National Iranian American Council issued the following statement.
On October 1, the P5+1, consisting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, are scheduled to begin talks with Iran. The National Iranian American Council strongly urges that human rights play an important role in these talks. NIAC continues to believe that diplomacy with Iran is the right path to pursue as it has the highest likelihood of resolving US-Iran tensions over the nuclear issue, but it would be a mistake to engage with Iran without including human rights on the agenda.
Iran’s deep political divisions following the election violence and widespread human rights abuses raise questions about the country’s ability to deliver on any negotiation. Delaying diplomacy until there is greater political clarity would have been preferable. But in the absence of that, it is all the more important to include human rights on the agenda.
Failing to raise human rights in the talks would send the Iranian government a dangerous message of international indifference to the plight of the Iranian people. The P5+1 meeting provides a critical platform to press the Iranian government on its abysmal human rights record.
NIAC believes that Iran’s human rights record is no less pressing or important than its enrichment program in rehabilitating the country into a responsible and constructive actor in the global community.