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Shirin Ebadi to Asharq Al-Awsat: Military Spending in Yemen, Syria Spread Poverty in Iran

Shirin Ebadi to Asharq Al-Awsat: Military Spending in Yemen, Syria Spread Poverty in Iran

Thursday, 4 January, 2018 - 08:30
Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. Reuters file photo

Iranian Nobel Peace laureate and most famous human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi said that Iran's authorities continue to neglect the Iranian people despite the fact that they have declared their demands.

She stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the military spending in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon undermined the state budget and spread poverty in Iran.

Protests have shaken Iran for a week, and the majority of the Iranian nation is demanding a referendum because it is now aware that the current political structure, which is limited to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, can’t carry out reforms, according to Ebadi.

Speaking on the nature of protests and the way the authority dealt with protesters, Ebadi said that people took to the streets peacefully but were confronted by the police and security forces. “The government says up to 700 were arrested but I am certain that the number of detainees and casualties is much more than that,” she added.

This discrepancy in the number of casualties and detainees is attributed “to the conditions that prevent the press from performing their mission in following up the matter, and therefore the media can’t prepare precise reports. But what is for sure is that the number of detainees is high,” Ebadi added.

The Nobel Peace laureate asked Iran's police and the IRGC to drop their weapons and join protesters.

Iranians should stay on the street and the constitution gives them the right to protest, said Ebadi, calling on them to stop paying water, gas and electricity bills and taxes, and to withdraw their money from state-owned banks to exert economic pressure on the government, forcing it to stop the violence and meet their demands.

She said it is unlikely to have confidence in Iranian President Hassan Rouahni for holding security positions in the past 38 years, which means he is responsible for the deteriorating situation.

Commenting on the repercussions of the international community’s position on the national movement in Iran, Ebadi affirmed that human rights is an international concept that knows no boundaries, and any event in the world requires international stances.

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