Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Looks Like You Sold Your Soul To The Devil!

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By S. Hesam Houryaband.

On April 28th, 2015 in an interview with Charlie Rose, Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, discussed the human rights situation in Iran and much to my astonishment and millions of others, he bluntly stated that, “We do not jail people for their opinions.” And as if that statement wasn’t enough, Mr. Zarif went on to say, “And I believe it is important for everybody to respect the rule of law and to allow the political process, the judicial process in Iran to run its course.” Alluding to the fact that, all of the political prisoners in Iranian jails are criminals and have broken the laws of the country, and if they were to follow the rule of law, they would either not end up in jail, or be freed through due judicial process.

Mr. Zarif, looks like you have sold your soul to the devil! As a young man, I remember working with a pious Zarif; a humble Zarif who wouldn’t lie so straight-faced. It sure seems like political power has come at a cost of denying the truths which you are so well aware of. I remember a Zarif who quit the Foreign Ministry to save his dignity during the days of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, because he had put a more incompetent person at the helm of the Ministry than himself.

Mr. Zarif, allow me to showcase some of the people whom you yourself know and worked with personally, all of whom were jailed for their opinions. Mr. Zarif, why don’t you ask Mr. Isa Saharkhiz if he was jailed for his political opinions or not? Not only was Mr. Saharkhiz jailed for his political opinions in 2009, but even after being released in 2013, he was barred from any political activities.

Mr. Zarif, why don’t you ask Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karoubi, both of whom are still under house arrest, if they were arrested for their opinions for contesting the election results of 2009 along with millions of other Iranians.

Mr. Zarif, why don’t you ask hundreds of Iranian youths who were jailed and tortured for peaceful protests against the 2009 presidential elections, who are still in Iranian prisons.

Mr. Zarif, why don’t you ask Dr. Kamal Kharrazi, your mentor, how his own son was beaten at those same demonstrations and how his wife was roughed up as well, all the while when he was working for the Supreme Leader’s office.

Mr. Zarif, you’re speaking about a country where just by simply mentioning the name of Israel, no matter in what form or context, an individual is bound to have a visit to the Ministry of Intelligence and be branded a “Zionist spy.”

And how about allowing the political and judicial process to take its course! I’m not sure if you’re referring to the same country where the judicial process is so well represented by Judge Salavati and his likes, whose mass sentencing of defendants is all too familiar to people inside and outside of the country. The same Judge Salavati who denied many defendants their basic rights of having a lawyer present in his court. And the same Judge Salavati who personally threatened numerous prisoners and their lawyers to let the so-called judicial process take its due course.

Mr. Zarif, I thought that the days of nonsensical political rhetoric were over with Ahmadinejad’s presidency, but it seems it is embedded in the fabric of the political society and elite of the country, where the rules are ostensibly set in a manner of “with us or against us” mentality, where many are marginalized for the sake of the few.

Mr. Zarif, we both know that the due process of the law would never take its course in Iran, because it is too easily manipulated to serve the purpose of the authorities. Where sham charges and sham trials are too numerous to point out and to ignore.

Mr. Zarif, rhetoric such as that might seem suffice to manipulate and silence the uninformed, but to the rest you’d just be making a mockery of yourself and the governing authorities you represent.

So I advise that the next time you’re so inclined to offer an opinion, to think of your audience so as not to insult their intelligence, and your own dignity.