HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN IN 2016 – A CONTINUING NEED FOR INTERNATIONAL VIGILANCE
Recent developments in Iran such as the completion of the nuclear deal and the success of more moderate candidates in the February Parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections have given many international observers hope that Iran may be turning a corner toward moderation and democratization. However, unless serious obstacles to sustainable change and democratization such as the abysmal human rights situation, the politicized and unaccountable judiciary, and the compromised electoral system are addressed, the prospects for real and lasting change remain slim.
The issues raised here are structural obstacles to serious reform. While it is important for the international community to acknowledge and encourage reforms and changes that are currently taking place in Iran, it is equally important not to lose track of the most fundamental obstacles to change in Iran. To remind Iranian officials of the need to tackle these obstacles seriously in any earnest and legitimate effort to open up Iran, it is essential to support regular human rights monitoring and reporting by the United Nations and to press Iran to allow visits by UN special rapporteurs, including the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
(This report prepared by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation)