Sanctions are no solution says solidarity organisation

2nd February 2012

Press release

For immediate use

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) toady condemned the EU move to impose sanctions upon the Islamic Republic of Iran as effectively a declaration of war upon the Iranian people.

The organisation, which has campaigned for thirty years against human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic, has been a prominent voice in insisting that dialogue is the only way forward in the current crisis. The sanctions imposed by the EU are seen as a provocative escalation of an already unstable situation which could be a precursor to military intervention by the West.

CODIR Assistant General Secretary, Jamshid Ahmadi, made clear the position of human rights and peace organisations in relation to Iran stating,

“We condemn the Iranian regime for its human rights violations, its ongoing repression of religious minorities and the regime’s persecution of human rights activists. However, embargoing Iranian oil through the de-facto ban on trade with Iran’s central bank ultimately has a negative impact upon the ordinary people of Iran.”

CODIR is also concerned that the reality of Western sanctions and the threat of military intervention will hand the regime a propaganda coup ahead of parliamentary elections in March.

“These sanctions are a boost for the Iranian regime in advance of the elections in March.” said Mr Ahmadi. “There is no proof of a nuclear weapons programme, only secret service suspicions and allegations. What we really need is the escalation of human rights dialogue and serious negotiations for a nuclear-free Middle East.”

CODIR are unequivocal in their condemnation of any external interference in the affairs of the Islamic Republic, stressing that it is for the people of Iran to determine their own future. Human rights, peace and trades union organisations must show solidarity in assisting the people of Iran to establish a truly democratic state.

The possibility of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear installations, making it one step removed from a direct US intervention, has long been considered a tactical option and CODIR insist that the sanctions campaign makes such an attack more likely.

“We will continue to do all we can to support the people of Iran”, said Mr Ahmadi, “and we are looking to the peace movements across the globe to do everything they can to avert a conflict. The ordinary people of Iran will certainly be the first victims of sanctions or a war but many others may follow.”

CODIR has declared its full support for the demonstrations taking place on Saturday 4th February in many cities across the world.

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Further information for Editors

CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights. It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

CODIR has worked closely with the trades union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iran’s prisons.

CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.

In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.

Amongst CODIR’s supporters are Tony Benn, Rodney Bickerstaff (former General Secretary of UNISON), Ken Cameron (former General Secretary of FBU) and Louise Richards (former Chair of the International Section of UNISON).

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