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AbdolReza Ahmadi – Bamdadkhabar
Bamdadkhabar: As you know, a noticeable number of Iranian refugees are currently living in Turkey. Your missions are mostly focused on France, Germany and Norway. Will be planning any mission to Turkey to meet with Iranian and familiarise yourself with their situation.
Ahmad Shahid: I am interested in meeting Iranians where ever they may be, and I am keen to visit Turkey as it is one country which hosts a large number of recent Iranian refugees. My information gathering activities are not limited to field visits, but I do hope to be able to visit Turkey over the course of the next 12 months.
Bamdadkhabar: Due to restrictions, there is unfortunately no exact figure of cases of human rights related violations in Iran. Despite these hindrances, you managed to gather a substantial volume of cases of human rights violations, which could help fact-finding commissions in Iran. In case such fact-finding missions are established in Iran, will you be ready to support it.
Ahmad Shahid: My mandate was created just last year, and I am in the early stages of seeking cooperation from the government of Iran. I think it is premature to speak about fact finding commissions. There are a number of mechanisms that exist that can be used to develop co-operation with Iran, which will shed more light on the situation on the ground.
۳)With exception to the Permanent Representatives of Iran to Geneva and New York, did you meet other Iranian officials? Did you manage to meet Dr Larijani? If you had a meeting with Dr Larijani, in addition to your access to Iran, what other requests and issues were discussed.
Ahmad Shahid: I have had some meetings with Iranian officials and held discussions on a number of issues. It would be premature to speak about the content of these discussions.
Bamdadkhabar: For your upcoming report, what strategy and methodology would you apply? In light of the current circumstances in Iran, do you think, there is any prospect for the implementation of recommendations you had promulgated. If there is no guarantee and prospect for the execution of the recommendations, how should your next report be formulated?
Ahmad Shahid: My mandate is part of a process by the Human Rights Council, involving dialogue, co-operation and confidence-building, in addition to investigation and advocacy. I do not expect results to be achieved over night, although there have been some instances where I believe my reports and appeals may have had very good short term impact too. I am currently gathering information for my next report, and I am ocusing on areas of the most urgent concerns to human rights defenders.
Bamdadkhabar : In the event, when the human rights situation in Iran turns chronic, will the Security Council support furthering severity of the sanctions?
Ahmad Shahid: I should not speculate on what the Security Council might do or not do. What the Security Council does in any given situation is entirely up to the Council to discuss and determine. If the Security Council acts on any country situation, there are many measures it can undertake. However, I remain confident that Iran will increase cooperation with the UN human rights mechanisms as time goes by.
Bamdadkhabar: The P5+1 talks on Iran nuclear program have overshadowed the human rights discourse in Iran. Do you think your reports as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran could help change the setup of these meetings and be considered for talk by international community. And what can be proposed to encourage human rights in the discourse of these negotiating States.
Ahmad Shahid: It would not be helpful to link other issues to discussions on human rights. Human rights issues must be addressed independently of other issues, and must be discussed on their merits.
Bamdadkhabar: Do you think you will eventually be admitted to Iran? And in that case, what program will you have for the mission?
Ahmad Shahid: I remain hopeful that Iran will become more open to cooperating with my mandate in the time to come. It would certainly be in Iran’s interest to admit me to their country and enable me to open a dialogue with key officials, visit places of detention, and speak to various groups of people, including victims of alleged human rights abuses.