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Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is due in Sweden on August 20 and 21 to meet with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and representatives of the Swedish Parliament and some international peacekeeping bodies to discuss Yemen and to safeguard the Iran Nuclear deal also known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Many Iranians living in Sweden are concerned about the visit by the Iranian Foreign Minister to Sweden. Since Rouhani's presidency in June of 2013, the human rights situation in Iran has become more critical despite his election promises. Executions have not only stopped, but have increased dramatically. Political prisoners are still in prison and there is little hope of their release. Journalists and dissidents are regularly arrested and their civil and human rights are constantly violated.

The repression of the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, especially dissidents, continues, and no tangible change has taken place.

Ahmad Reza Jalali, an Iranian-born Swedish scholar convicted of spying for Israel, is still in prison, and his execution could be carried out at any moment.

Worst of all, Javad Zarif always denies all these facts and only seeks to justify and fully defend the domestic, regional and international policies of the Islamic Republic.

The fact is that billions of dollars from the treasury are being spent on military aid to regional countries to increase the influence of Islamic Jihad in the region. This, along with other foreign policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has in turn exacerbated regional and international tensions and increased the risk of a new war in the region. This is of great concern to many Iranians, including Swedish-Iranian citizens.

Therefore, many Iranians inside and outside the country have a positive view of any dialogue and negotiations that would help alleviate tensions and pave the way for peace in the region. At the same time, many Iranians living in Sweden worry that human rights issues in Iran will be sidelined in the talks under the pretext of the importance of preserving and resolving the nuclear crisis. It is clear that sustained resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis and efforts to dismantle and secure and maintain peace in the region, which is being pursued by much of the world, is paramount. But this should not overshadow the widespread human rights abuses in Iran.

We hereby call upon Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström to demand the  abolishment of executions as well as seek the release of all political prisoners in Iran and that the Islamic Republic to respect the human rights of the Iranian People.

With warm greetings

Mehrdad Darvishpour

Solidarity Committee with Iranian People

August 19, 2019

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