Following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (i.e., the Iran Nuclear Deal) and the subsequent lifting of most sanctions, there has been a marked increase in trade and economic activity with the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, little attention has been given to the fact that the Islamic Republic’s current legislation and practice are in deep violation of international labor rights standards and economic and social rights. Heightened levels of engagement and business with Iran makes this an important time for the international community address the human rights in the country and the rights of workers in particular.
Iran places extensive restrictions and criminal sanctions on expression, association, and assembly. Censorship of speech, art, the internet, and media is common. Civil society groups, including human rights organizations and labor unions, are routinely shut down. Peaceful gatherings and protests are typically disrupted and sometimes met with force. Authorities make widespread use of arrests and detention to deter disfavored expression, association, and assembly.