Three delegates of the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran were present in Brussels from 1 to 3 October 2013 to meet with key European policy makers, advocating for a federal Iran as well as raising recent human rights issues and sharing their views on Iran’s new leader.
In Brussels for a few days, delegates of the CNFI and UNPO met with several EU policy makers and Members of the European Parliament to present them with their views on Iranian politics, human rights abuses as well as new developments since President Rouhani’s take over. These meetings were held in advance of the conference organized by UNPO at the European Parliament on federalism in the Middle East, at which both Mr. Nasser Boladai (of Balochistan) and Mr. Loghman Ahmedi (of Iranian Kurdistan) were speaking.
Previous CNFI advocacy visits to Brussels have allowed the delegates to expand their network in Brussels, as well as meet repeatedly with several officers and update them on the situation faced by different nationalities in Iran (the Baloch, the Kurds, the Ahwazi, the Azeris and the Turkmen). This round of visits saw the delegates being asked frequently about the recent developments since President Rouhani’s take-over.
Mr. Boladai and Mr. Ahmedi, joined by Mr. Alyar (Iranian Kurdistan), presented their views on the leadership’s change, stressing that they had not seen any positive changes for nationalities in Iran. On the contrary, Balochistan has seen more executions than under Ahmadinejad, as well as the rise of enforced disappearances, previously noticed in Pakistani Balochistan. They have noticed that Mr. Rouhani has managed to create dialogue with Western countries, promising change, all the while keeping a firm grip on Iranian nationalities and ensuring their oppression through arrests, torture, executions and intimidation.
The CNFI delegation, speaking to different Members of the European Parliament, stressed the need for greater attention to be given to Iran’s minorities, arguing that federalism and decentralization – and hence a recognition of minorities – could be an option for Iran and a path to greater stability in the Middle East.