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Geopolitics

Don't Trust Rouhani - Iran's Nobel Peace Laureate Speaks

Shiran Ebadi, 2003 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, says Iran's supposed reformist leader Hassan Rouhani has done little to improve human rights. Anyway, he doesn't have final say.

Rouhani marks the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution last month in Tehran
Rouhani marks the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution last month in Tehran
Florian Eder

BRUSSELS — Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, has been watching with what she calls a kind of sober realism as relations between the West and her native Iran have strengthened in recent months.

Living in exile in Britain since 2009, she was invited last week by the European Foundation for Democracy, a Brussels-based think tank, to meet with members of the European Parliament. Five years after becoming the European Union’s foreign policy representative, Catherine Ashton went to Iran for the first time last year. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani can count her visit as a diplomatic success, and there is now hope for an official EU diplomatic mission in Teheran.

But in an interview with Die Welt in Brussels, Ebadi says that before there can be such an EU mission in Tehran, the Iranian government has to show that it is willing to support minimum human rights standards.

Die Welt: Ms. Ebadi, you have been living in exile since 2009. How do you stay in contact with Iran?
Ebadi: My office is in London. I am in daily contact with my colleagues. We work well together. Just today I spoke with Narges Mohammedi, one of the human rights activists that Ms. Ashton met with during her visit.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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