November 19, 2007

Iranian Nobel Laureate: Stop The Enrichment

Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi will soon make the Iranian traitors list, as conceived by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ebadi has called for suspension of the uranium enrichment program and demanded that Teheran negotiate in good faith for a peaceful nuclear-energy program with the UN, offering a rare display of domestic dissent on the issue:

Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has called on Iran to suspend its controversial nuclear work to avert what she says is a mounting threat of war the US.

"Using nuclear energy is every nation's right, but we have obvious other rights including security, peace and welfare," she told a press conference. ....

Correspondents say Ms Ebadi's comments represent an unusually explicit condemnation of the government's entrenched policy at a time of mounting tension with western powers.

"We can hear the evil sounds of war drums, however far away. We don't like it but there is probability of war," she said. "In the past 30 years there has been a revolution and eight years of war. People are tired and want peace and quiet to lead their lives."

Ahmadinejad has called any kind of domestic opposition to the nuclear program treason, and he has the police state necessary to enforce that policy. Whether he can make it stick with Ebadi remains to be seen. Ebadi has a high international profile, and her arrest would only exacerbate an already difficult relationship with most of the international community. Even Russia and China might have to react to such a move, and certainly Europe would vehemently protest it -- and Iran's standing has slipped precipitously there already.

Ebadi's protest might embolden the general opposition to the mullahcracy. Part of the predicate for their uprising against the mullahs is based on the suicidal direction of their foreign policy and its effect on their economy. Having Ebadi make that case, subtly but clearly in this instance, helps give them credibility and momentum. At the least, it provides a counterbalance to the propaganda efforts of the Ahmadinejad regime in convincing Iranians that their nuclear-weapons initiative is a patriotic endeavor with no ill consequences.

In that sense, Ahmadinejad may have no choice but to silence Ebadi. How long will it be before he acts to isolate her? If he does, will the international community demand her freedom, or will they act as supinely as they have through most of the nuclear standoff with the mullahs?


TrackBack URL for this entry: