Hadi Ghaemi, director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, highlights the protesters being sentenced to death in Iran (there are also reports that a gay Iranian was hanged last week):
The international community's focus on the nuclear issue and the P5+1 negotiations with Iran are taking place against a backdrop of serious human rights crimes in Iran. The Obama administration is so enthralled by the possibility of finally getting Iran to the negotiation table and extracting concessions, that it is all but ignoring the human rights crisis, the post-election violence, and now the rising number of political death sentences. It is a folly to consider the nuclear negotiations and human rights concerns as mutually exclusive. They are indeed inter-related as state-sponsored violence and human rights violations are closely interwoven into Iran's foreign policy calculations at the moment. It remains to be seen if Iran has indeed achieved a form of nuclear deterrence--if, by having even appeared to join the nuclear club, it will be immune from pressure about human rights.
(Photo: young gay Iranians hanged for alleged sexual "crimes" three years ago in Iran. AFP/Getty)