August 29, 2019

Newsweek: Inside Iran, Human Rights Activities are Just as Furious with Trump as Their Own Government

Iranian students protest at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017 (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

By Sina Toossi

French President Emanuel Macron has achieved a major diplomatic coup this week by brokering a potential meeting between President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

After speaking with Trump and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Macron declared on Monday, “A roadmap has sort of been set” for diplomacy. He disclosed that “in the next few weeks,” he hopes a meeting will take place between the two leaders that he predicts “is going to lead to bringing an end to escalation and reaching a suitable solution to this [standoff].”

For many Iranian human rights activists, the possibility of talks on the horizon is welcome news, but don’t expect them to greet the U.S. as some kind of savior. They have railed against the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” policy of economic sanctions and political isolation, which has devastated the Iranian economy and dramatically worsened the human rights situation inside the nation—despite the State Department making “substantial improvements on human rights” a condition of diplomacy.

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