Jonathan Arkush: “Iran’s human rights record is dire and deteriorating”

Board President Jonathan Arkush commented on the opening of the British embassy in Iran against the background of the regime’s appalling record on human rights and continued support for international terror.

“The Board welcomes the emphasis placed on human rights in Iran by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond as the UK re-opens its embassy in Tehran.  However it must be firmly kept in mind that the regime’s record on human rights can only be described as dire and continues to deteriorate even further to new lows in cruelty and barbarity.

In 2014, only China executed more people than Iran and the country has the melancholy distinction of leading the world in executions of juveniles.  Journalists, bloggers and politicians are routinely imprisoned where they are subject to inhumane treatment or placed under house arrest.

Iran’s treatment of minorities including the Baha’i and LGBT people is shameful.  Baha’i citizens are barred from education and public jobs, while LGBT Iranians are subjected to torture and death by the regime.

Furthermore Iran is complicit in massive violations of human rights beyond its borders, including in Syria where it plays a leading role in the ongoing conflict and in Yemen, where it supports the Houthis, whose flag proclaims ‘Death to the Jews’.

Iran also funds Hezbollah, an organisation which has perpetrated acts of terror around the world including the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina which killed 85 people and the bombing of a tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012 which killed six, among a host of other terrorist atrocities. Hezbollah threatens the stability of Lebanon and the security of Israel.

We urge Mr Hammond to keep up the pressure on Iran over this appalling record and to continue to highlight the abuses of the regime.

Furthermore, the Board feels it necessary to re-state that it remains firmly opposed to the agreement reached by the P5+1 states with Iran which it considers to be deeply flawed.  The Board is fearful that western democracies will pay a very heavy price for their appeasement to a rogue dictatorship and will come to regret bitterly the enthusiasm to reach an accommodation with an utterly cruel and untrustworthy regime. ”


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