Elevating Human Rights on the U.S. Policy Agenda for Iran: Video & Article

Feb 2, 20100 comments

Elevating Human Rights on the U.S. Policy Agenda for Iran

February 1, 2010, 12:00pm – 1:00pm The massive street protests following Iran’s presidential election of June 2009 highlighted Iranians’ disapproval of their ruling regime. Continuing protests during subsequent Iranian holidays and observances have showed that Iran’s opposition movement remains vital, and also signaled that Tehran’s grip on power may be somewhat vulnerable if the international community steadfastly supports Iranians’ basic rights. Though the administration has not ignored human rights in Iran, the issue remains an underutilized lever of American foreign policy. By including human rights in the basket of issues discussed in multilateral negotiations while making public statements of support for human rights in Iran, the Obama administration may create openings for serious and lasting concessions from Tehran. Meanwhile, some have offered aggressive approaches that are also unlikely to advance U.S. goals. Broad-based sanctions, for instance those affecting gasoline, would likely strengthen the domestic political position of the regime, thereby decreasing the likelihood that Tehran would make serious concessions on its nuclear program. Sanctions targeting the Revolutionary Guards may prove more succesful, but there are still questions regarding their effectiveness in changing the regime’s behavior. With large demonstrations expected during the February 11 anniversary of Iran’s 1979 revolution, likely to be followed by another government crackdown, this forum will examine the policy options currently being debated by the administration, and discuss ways to effectively harness human rights promotion to pressure on the Iranian regime. Featured panelists: Geneive Abdo, Fellow and Iran Analyst, The Century Foundation Hadi Ghaemi, Coordinator, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran Michael Signer, Fellow, Progressive Policy Institute Moderated by: Matthew Duss, National Security Researcher, Center for American Progress and Blogger, Center for American Progress Action Fund’s ThinkProgress

SOURCE: http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2010/02/iranhumanrights.html