Sunday, October 11, 2009

Human rights in Iran

According to Radio Free Europe, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, which has received about $3 million over the past 5 years from the U.S. Agency for International Development (part of the State Department) has just learned no more such funding will be forthcoming.

The apparent reason: the U.S. government wants to create a favorable atmosphere for the talks with Iran on its nuclear ambitions.

This decision is wrong on many accounts, but I'll just mention two. First, documenting the human rights abuses of the Iranian regime is key to addressing them, as knowledge is power and totalitarian regimes rely on keeping the truth hidden. Second, why anyone in the Adminstration would imagine, even for a moment, that such a step would make the Iranians more amenable to compromise on nuclear issues, is beyond my comprehension.

It's simple appeasement. And it won't even work, so it's really, really dumb.

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