When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

What does Iran see when it looks at Europe? Not necessarily a Union at all. It was reported this week by the Iranian press that the Netherlands ambassador in Tehran told Iranian authorities not to worry about the European Parliament's recent vote condemning Iran's handling of human rights.

The official IRNA news agency cited ambassador Jos Douma as telling a senior parliamentarian on April 8 that a resolution passed by the European Parliament "contradicted the Dutch government's positions." Douma reportedly also told the head of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs committee, Alaeddin Borujerdi, that the human rights vote would have "no effect on the EU's foreign policy."

Iran is engaged in talks with Western powers to reach an agreement on the scope of its controversial nuclear program, and also end its own diplomatic isolation.

The move, if successful, could mean considerable business opportunities in Iran for European firms. But human rights remain a blocking point for some in the West, who note the limits on free speech, imprisoned members of the opposition and widespread use of the death penalty. Tehran dismisses such criticism as "meddling" in its affairs.

The European parliament passed a resolution in late March urging EU negotiators to focus more on rights and go beyond the nuclear dossier, irking Tehran officials considerably.

Borujerdi told Douma that Iran wanted better ties with the West without "interfering measures." The resolution he said, "has had a negative impact on opinion" in Iran, and states must respect different "customs" in their relations. Human rights he added, "are related to every society's culture, religion and morals," and cannot be judged with "one standard."

— Ahmad Shayegan

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

A Closer Look At "The French Roe" And The State Of Abortion Rights In France

In 1972, Marie-Claire Chevalier's trial paved the way for the legalization of abortion in France, much like Roe v. Wade did in the U.S. soon after. But as the Supreme Court overturned this landmark decision on the other side of the Atlantic, where do abortion rights now stand in France?

Lawyer Gisèle Halimi accompanies Marie-Claire Chevalier at the Bobigny trial in 1972.

Lila Paulou

PARIS — When Marie-Claire Chevalier died in January, French newspapers described her role in the struggle for abortion rights as an important part of what’s become the rather distant past. Yet since the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States, Chevalier’s story has returned to the present tense.

A high school student in 1971, Chevalier was raped by a classmate, and faced an unwanted pregnancy. With the help of her mother and three other women, the 16-year-old obtained an abortion, which was illegal in France. With all five women facing arrest, Marie-Claire’s mother Michèle decided to contact French-Tunisian lawyer Gisèle Halimi who had defended an Algerian activist raped and tortured by French soldiers in a high-profile case.

Marie-Claire bravely agreed to turn her trial into a platform for all women prosecuted for seeking an abortion. Major social figures testified on her behalf, from feminist activist Simone de Beauvoir to acclaimed poet Aimé Césaire. The prominent Catholic doctor Paul Milliez, said, “I do not see why us, Catholics, should impose our moral to all French people.”

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ