Iran: Ebadi Founds Peace Movement
As tensions are building up over
Below is an article published by Radio Free
Ebadi, a Tehran-based human rights activist and lawyer, this week invited all Iranians to participate in the creation of the national body, saying the initiative emerged from a group of activist lawyers called the
The council is seen primarily as a discussion forum, but analysts say it has the potential to offer an alternative to the pro-confrontation policies of the current Iranian leadership.
Ebadi told Radio Farda's Niusha Boghrati that the council would include "individuals who are trusted by people." "The National Peace Council will discuss ways to decrease political and military tensions between
Ebadi also called on the Iranian government to suspend those sensitive nuclear activities that are at the core of Western suspicions that
The initiative "attacks Ahmadinejad's hard line, but at the same time it says that our nuclear energy rights should be recognized. And so, in that way, it is quite an important [initiative]." -- Massoumeh Torfeh, SOAS
At issue is the enrichment of uranium, which
"What we want is that the two sides should respect international law, and we warn them on this," she said. "The United States cannot have the right to deal with Iran outside the framework of international law, and Iran cannot build a wall around itself and say, 'I have nothing to do with international law' and pay no attention to [UN] Security Council resolutions."
Reliable figures on public opinion are notoriously hard to come by in
"No matter to whom you talk, to the youth, workers, farmers, elder people, families, no one wants a war to begin," says
Analyst Massoumeh Torfeh, of the
She also says that Ebadi has found the correct tone for the new body, by standing up for
"At the same time, we have another right, which is far more important, which is our right to security," Torfeh says. "So the initiative is two-pronged. It attacks [President Mahmud] Ahmadinejad's hard line, but at the same time it says that our nuclear energy rights should be recognized. And so, in that way, it is quite an important [initiative]."
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad's government have just as consistently denied their country has any intention of developing nuclear weapons.
But Ahmadinejad has never been able to plausibly explain why
Ahmadinejad vowed earlier this week that
Mick Gapes, chairman of the British Parliament's select committee on foreign affairs, says the Iranian leadership is in a "state of denial" about their obligations to meet the needs of Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747, which imposed UN sanctions on
Gapes, who has just visited
"We have made clear to them many times that we are not trying to stop them having civil nuclear power," Gapes says. "What we were saying, what the British government was saying, what the international community was saying, was that