European Parliament workshop on “Human rights in Iran after the nuclear deal: Business as usual or time for change?”, contributions by Giulia Bonacquisti, Nazila Ghanea and Firouzeh Nahavandi

TEPSA coordinated the participation of two academic experts, Nazila Ghanea (University of Oxford) and Firouzeh Nahavandi (Université Libre de Bruxelles) in a workshop on Human rights in Iran after the nuclear deal: Business as usual or time for change? organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR).

The purpose of the workshop, which took place on 24 January 2017, was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to the gaps between law and practice in Iran and raised continuing concerns about the death penalty, political prisoners, prison conditions, arrests of dual nationals, minority rights and restrictions to internet access. They identified Iran’s dual power structure of elected and non-elected institutions and corruption as some of the chief constraints to any reform efforts. They said the EU should keep human rights —including support for the relevant UN mechanisms and efforts — high on its agenda. They said the key factors for engaging successfully with Iran on human rights in future were clear criteria and benchmarks, detailed knowledge of the human rights issues at stake and interaction with Iranian civil society both inside and outside Iran.

The workshop report was prepared by TEPSA Project Officer Giulia Bonacquisti and can be downloaded here.