Why does Estonia have diplomatic relations with Iran?
Estonia recently “celebrated” the 30th anniversary of its relations with Iran and the new Estonian ambassador to the country presented her credentials to the Iranian President; why on earth Estonia would even have diplomatic relations with one of the most oppressive and evil regimes in the world is unbelievable, writes Estonian World editor Sten Hankewitz.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry issued a press release on April 26 about the new ambassador to Iran, Annely Kolk, presenting her credentials to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The press release specifically pointed out that Raisi was the president of the “Islamic Republic of Iran”, the designation Iran adopted after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah and created a theocracy responsible for countless rights abuses. of humans and thousands of deaths.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry press release goes on to say that Kolk and Raisi “discussed the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Iran, celebrated on August 18. They also discussed the development of bilateral cooperation.
“I see potential for development in cooperation between Estonia and Iran, especially in the areas of culture and economy,” Kolk said, according to the Foreign Ministry’s press release.
Iran hangs people from cranes
I’m sorry, but what did I just read? Estonia ‘celebrating’ diplomatic relations with a country that hangs people from cranes? Estonia sees “development potential” between itself – one of the strongest bastions of democracy and human rights in Europe, “especially in culture and economy” – with l Iran, a country that has suppressed all human rights since the Islamic revolution and whose economy is in disarray because of international sanctions?
Out of nearly 200 countries in the world, only 97 maintain diplomatic relations with Iran. For example, the US has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1980. Why a US ally – Estonia – would have diplomatic relations with a pariah country is unbelievable.
Certainly, many other democratic countries maintain diplomatic relations with Iran. Many of these countries even have an embassy in Tehran (the Estonian ambassador resides in Ankara, Turkey). But how many of these democratic nations actually “celebrate” their relationship with a murderous regime? How many of these democratic nations seek “cooperation…especially in culture and economy” with Iran?
Iran executes anyone – whether legally proven or not, at least by the standards of democratic countries – who is homosexual, who cheats on his partner, but also who plots to “overthrow the Islamic regime”, political dissent, profanity, alcohol consumption, etc. The list of “crimes” that earn you the death penalty in Iran starts with drinking a beer with your lunch and ends with watching pornography on the Internet.
According to Amnesty International’s 2021/2022 report, thousands of people in Iran “have been interrogated, unjustly prosecuted and/or arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights, and hundreds have remained unjustly imprisoned.” Security forces illegally used lethal force and shot to crush the protests. »
Execute the most people per capita in the world
“Women, LGBTI people and ethnic and religious minorities face entrenched discrimination and violence. Legislative developments have further undermined sexual and reproductive rights, the right to freedom of religion and belief, and internet access. Torture and other ill-treatment, including depriving prisoners of adequate medical care, remained widespread and systematic,” Amnesty said.
“Court sentences of flogging, amputation and blinding were imposed. The death penalty has been widely used, including as a weapon of repression. Executions have taken place after unfair trials.
Iran also executes the highest number of people per capita in the world. In 2015, Iran executed 977 people, according to public records; we really don’t know how many people the regime actually murdered.
Does this regime really look like something Estonia should be friends with?
Estonia is showing true leadership by standing with Ukraine which is under enormous pressure due to Russia’s unprovoked aggression, mass murder and genocide. And at the same time, Estonia looks at Iran, one of the most oppressive and murderous regimes in the world, as diabolical as Russia’s.
Even the most hypocritical person would be ashamed. Unfortunately, governments are not ashamed.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.