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Nobel Laureate: No Positive Change in Iran So Long as Constitution Hasn’t Changed

Nobel Laureate: No Positive Change in Iran So Long as Constitution Hasn’t Changed

Shirin Ebadi criticizes EU diplomat for attending Raisi’s inauguration
Wednesday, 4 August, 2021 - 06:45
Shirin Ebadi. (AFP)

Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, has criticized Enrique Mora, a deputy to European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for taking part in the inauguration ceremony of the country’s incoming President Ebrahim Raisi. Accusing the EU of having a “double standard” towards Iran, Ebadi said Iran’s realities should be expressed for Europeans to be ashamed of having such representatives.

Speaking to Independent Persian’s Editor-in-Chief Camelia Entekhabifard, Ebadi said: “The European Union is sending a representative to the inauguration ceremony of Ebrahim Raisi, one of the primary figures responsible for murders of the 1980s… This shows EU’s approach and its double standard; we should do something for the European people to be ashamed of having such representatives. This can be done by expressing the truth about Iran.”

When asked what future she sees for Iran and the Iranian people, Ebadi remarked: “Whoever would have become president in lieu of Mr. Raisi, who is responsible for the 1988 massacre, the situation would be bad. Why? Because my problem isn’t with Khamenei or Raisi as individuals but Iran’s political structure. This structure is based on a constitution; so long as we have the current constitution, nobody could bring Iran out of these dire conditions.”

“The constitution, for instance, defines the Shiite faith as the official religion,” she added. “And it’s the same constitution that says all laws should be based on Islamic principles. These are decided by the six clerics of the Guardian Council who are appointed by one person, meaning the Supreme Leader. Thus, one person’s opinions are how ‘Islamic principles’ are decided.”

According to Ebadi, this constitution and political structure has no room for people and “the Iranian people will never see happiness” with these in place. “If we give all authority to one person, what happens to the people?” she asked.

“Even whoever is elected in these flawed elections (which aren’t realty elections since the candidates are first vetted by the Supreme Leader’s representatives in the Guardian Council) has to still be approved by the Supreme Leader,” Ebadi said.

“Now Mr. Raisi has become president in the farce elections only after he was appointed by [Ali] Khamenei. In other words, Khamenei could have decided not to approve him. Now tell me: where is the place of people here? Raisi is known as a butcher. But even if a very good person was elected, what could he do?”

Speaking of the late 1990s, Ebadi said: “Remember the era of reformists! Mr. Khatami, supposedly the spiritual father of reformists, was president for eight years. For six years of this period, reformists had majority in the parliament. Was that government of the reformist era able to do anything? Could it stop the catastrophe we are now living in?”

“This is why it’s not the question of this or that individual for me,” Ebadi concluded. “Don’t tell me about individuals. Talk to me about laws and the constitution. That’s where the problems lie. So long as the constitution has not changed, no positive change can come to Iran.”

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