I need one million signatures, are you going to join me?


by ramintork

The aim of this campaign is to make it illegal for an EU country to buy fuel from a country that does not adhere to the UN Human rights charter.

The Lisbon Treaty is about to come into effect, and new light is being shed on what it means when it talks about the Citizens’ Initiative.

Ordinary Europeans will have a direct influence on EU policy-making.

At this stage it is not clear if the one million signatures that have to be collected are suppose to be from the same country however this is an initiative to start this campaign.

The objective of the campaign is similar to the fair-trade principle where the rights of the small farmers are protected by unethical practices, but in this case it is the rights of the citizen of the fuel producing nation that will be protected.

If you are sick of totalitarian oil states that hold their citizens under lock and key then please join this campaign.

I intend to publicise this where ever I can, this is actually related to the Green movement, the objective being that the pressure is created by EU citizens on their Governments in theb way trade is conducted not just with Iran but other Middle Eastern countries that suffer from the abuse of Human rights.

The Campaign is effective for EU Citizens becuase from legislative point of view the 1 million signitures should be from those citizens but to publise it the following petition has been setup.

Even if we don't get all signitures it would raise awareness.


Finally, it is clear that we need an Iranian organization for Europe, one which would have Human rights in Iran as a top mission rather than an organization interested in becoming a lobby for business interest of any particular group. Such a group would have to be non-partisan. If there is such a group please enlighten me, if not then somehow we have to take the initiative and at least for the objective of this campaign start one.





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Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Economics of oil

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

Dear Ramin,

The EU is not going to care. They will buy fuel from whoever sells it to them the cheapest. They are buying it from Saudis; Libya; Kuwait; Sudan; you name it. These same Europeans were not just buying from but actually supplying chemical weapons to Saddam to use against Iranians. Do you think they could care less?

While no fan of IRI; they are not a whole lot different than the countries I mentioned above. If Europeans wanted to stop buying fuel from them they better not use oil at all!! Legal or not, they will keep buying oil. The change will happen when there is a viable alternate energy source or enough oil found in areas not run by dictatorships.


Next step

by ramintork on

We are at an early stage and I will be sending mail to key figures as well as broadcast the mission text to various Internet sites next week and try to bring more support on board. I will be publishing the mission in articles and send it to other Iranian paper and media publications.

I am confident that the principle and the message is very simple and clear i.e. if we get 1 million signatures from citizens of an EU country we can bring about a change in legislation to make it illegal for any EU country to buy oil and Gas from a nation that is drastically neglecting Human rights and this will be based on Human rights watch and Amnesty International reports.
The mechanism for it would be that first through citizens’ initiative the change in law is made (Lisbon treaty asks for 1M signatures) and then to activate it, a petition would go to the human rights court of Europe where given the evidence and based on the judgment of the court the country in question would be sanctioned for oil and Gas by EU.

To ensure fairness, having recruited key figures, we should start by a debate and provide an opportunity for those who disagree with such sanctions against Iran.I am very keen for the Iranian community to be the bastions of such a movement for several reasons: -- We can all unite under the flag of Europe and put aside our differences.- It would mobilize our community and teach us to use our legislative power. If sitting at your armchair somewhere in Europe you wanted to do something that has impact then this is it.- It would capture the heart of the people of Europe rather than the politicians.- The moral victory of putting Human rights for Iran on top of the list is the most important factor of this campaign; I am not even so concerned if at the end of the day we don't get the legislative change but if we do it would be a victory.


Dear Setareh Cheshmakzan, have a happy and safe journey

by ramintork on

When you stop at a beautiful place in Iran, please take a deep breath of Iranian air for me.

As you are busy I have made my answers very brief.

Israel issue - The two parties are talking to each other and working towards a two state solution, we should be concerned about Human rights in Israel as for anywhere else but my priority is with the 70M Iranians rather than 1.5M Gaza Palestinians.

The greatest help we could give to Palestinians is to stop IRI giving funds to their Frankenstein monster i.e. Hamas and stop them causing mayhem.

Parity- Parity is for the law and not for a campaigns. Campaigns focus on issues; if you want to collect 1M signatures to boycott Israeli oranges it is your derogative.

Interference- EU principles are based or should I say suppose to be based on Human rights, so as EU citizens and consumers we want to ensure our elected bodies adhere to that principle and our imported products have been obtained within the bounds of those legislated ethics, this is actually independent of proposed sanctions but the strategy would help Iranians in the way I described earlier.

Shirin Ebadi School of thought- I have a lot of respect for Shirin Ebadi but her idea of keeping the Islamic with the republic frightens me. Iran needs to be a secular democracy, a re branding of khatamiesque republic as Islamic-Democracy is like putting cheap breakfast serials in a fancy box.This is the way I see it.

There has been a coup in Iran and Sepah has taken over and with the exception of Khamenei who is kept as a front, the power is in the hands of the military. IRI have managed to convince the West to put Human rights at the end of the in-file and they are using the nuclear issue as the decoy.

The Green movement used the Gandhi non-violence resistance, it was spontaneous and brave and in the West when they saw young people being shot like ducks in a hunting season people showed their sympathy. The statesmen shrugged their shoulders and said this is terrible but east is east and west is west.We still need those demonstrations but since Western politicians answer to the public we need to use our legislative power as Western citizens to shift the public perception and force the politicians to take notice that Human rights in Iran is on top of the list.

Do we have forever to do this? No we don’t, from the dawn of this Sepah regime to the time that it would bring utter destruction to Iran we probably have at most several years so we must act now or we will witness Iran being destroyed in our lifetime.

The EU Lisbon treaty and the citizens’ initiative for change in legislation have given us a golden opportunity and we must take it. We must get those one million votes and who better than Iranian-Europeans to initiate this change in European public perception?


Fouzul Bashi

Ramin Parsa - alterior motives, eh?!

by Fouzul Bashi on

For the love of God, may we be a little more genuine and a little less duplicitous and obvious about our alterior motives here???

loooool, You certainly can try!  You begin by understanding and responding to someone else's actual comment instead of slandering and spewing!  It would also be useful to learn the correct spelling of ULTERIOR ;)

Ms Setareh is clear in her concern about the adverse consequences of sanctions on the people in Iran.  You however extend your duplicity to your 'aunts and uncles' in Iran, who would suffer at the expense of YOUR ulterior motives! 

ramin parsa

Ms. Cheshmakzan

by ramin parsa on

You're spinning pure nonsense, and deep down you know this. Please let us fix our own broken home FIRST before we worry about fixing the problems of others.

I would even narrow this petition down to only Iran and only Iran, because we're Iranians, and it is our homeland and our countrymen and women who are being snuffed out day by day.

The citizens of Iran are our brothers and sisters and our aunts and uncles and our mothers and fathers. This is, indeed, the country of my main focus. After we fix Iran's problems, then perhaps we can move on to abuses in Zimbabawe and Israel and the US and UK.

For the love of God, may we be a little more genuine and a little less duplicitous and obvious about our alterior motives here???

Setareh Cheshmakzan

Dear Ramintork- Genuine parity

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

Thank you.  I read your responses carefully.  I have no doubt that you are acting with the best of intentions.  The reason I raised the questions about  the campaign's specific focus on the fuel producing Middle-Eastern countries is because of the specific focus in the text of the petition.  

However, if it is indeed the case that the crimes and abuses of the US and the UK and of course those of Israel would be equally highlighted alongside crimes and abuses by Iran and that there will be genuine parity in publicity, mobilization and punitive measures, then this should be clearly reflected in the petition.  As it stands, in my opinion, it does not reflect this parity, not least because it makes specific reference to the fuel producing Middle Eastern dictatorships without any reference to the abuse of human rights and crimes committed daily by Israel. 

You say that "the measure of the abuse are the reports that are produced by independent Human rights groups".  

The recent case of the US Human Rights Watch where it is being hounded for its support for Goldstone Report highlighting Israel's war crimes in Gaza last January, demonstrates the pressure such groups are exposed to if their findings are not in line with the agenda of the powerful lobbies or states.  According to the UK Guardian 13 November //www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/13/israel-human-rights-watch-gaza (Israel 'personally attacking human rights group' after Gaza war crimes):

 "America's leading human rights organisation has accused Israel and its supporters of an "organised campaign" of false allegations and misinformation, including "extremely personal attacks" on its staff, in an attempt to discredit the group over its reports of war crimes in Gaza".

There is little doubt that many of these crimes are substantiated.  In fact the Goldstone's detailed report, as referred in my previous post, was approved by the UN General Assembly.  The case of British army's extensive atrocities in Iraq and its complicity in torture of its citizens in Pakistan (and elsewhere) too are known and under investigation after a long campaign by rights groups and lawyers: 

//www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hYuYaHhD1meYLaYhGI8Wd6vogigg  Human Rights Watch accuses Britain of complicity in torture of 5 UK citizens in Pakistan

I therefore feel unease that these current crimes and campaigns by rights groups are not referred to in the petition.  I also very much doubt that any financially punitive actions against these states is conceivable or indeed even supported by their citizens!  The upshot of this is that the target would be very selective.  

I fully understand your position that your immediate concern is to alleviate or eliminate the suffering of people in Iran.  Ramin, I too have relatives in Iran.  In fact ALL my remaining relatives are in Iran.  I do know that cutting the blood line of oil revenue will first and foremost impact on the government employees, pensioners, the most vulnerable sections of society who are dependent on this major revenue and will be even more dependent on the hands out from the regime.  I am fully aware that the current needs and scenarios are not those of the future.  Environmental and energy sustainability rank most highly in my concerns and activities too. However, I am talking about here and now, both in terms of the real suffering of people in Iran if such sanctions are imposed, and the undermining of the movement because of the ways the human rights issues will be turned upside down.  It will provide the justification to point the finger at  the "human rights" organizations in the West blaming them for the increased suffering of the Iranians and it would further undermine internal unity and mobilization.  The weakening and destruction of collective organizations and resistance in Iraq under sanctions, must remain a tragic reminder of the impact of sanctions on people's ability to fight.

Equally, is it not an infringement of the human rights of the population in Iran, if the people in the West, including the members of diaspora, decide whether and by what methods to bring down the Iranian regime?  Have we heard such a call by any long time campaigner such as Shirin Ebadi, Hamid Dabbashi, or Mohammad Sahimi, for instance?  These people who have defended Iran's human rights as well as the rights of Iranian sovereignty tirelessly, have not called for any form of sanctions or overthrow through outside interference.  Of course, no activists or opposition leaders in Iran, as far as I am aware, have called for imposition of sanctions.  It can be argued that they cannot articulate such demand fearing state persecution.  I believe not only do they know of the devastating impact this would inflict on the Iranian people, but they have positively spoken AGAINST imposition of sanctions.

However, in the first instance, I take issue with the question of parity.  I fully support the ideas of citizens or consumer mobilization and power.  So do I support an alternative sustainable economy, but I am aware that we cannot ignore the existence of powerful and wealthy pressure groups and many other considerations which are held above human rights that would divert, distort and direct campaigns if  circumstances, beneficiaries, and unintentioned consequences and side effects are not painstakingly and continuously addressed.

Thank you Ramin for reading.  Please forgive me if I cannot take further part in this discussion should it continue, because I have to round things up before my trip to Iran next week.   





Dear Setareh Cheshmakzan

by ramintork on

First of all I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to think about this issue and come up with some good questions, I hope that I can manage to answer these with the fairness and honesty that they deserve.

 1.      Is the campaign only directed against Middle Eastern abusers of human rights?

No, the measure of the abuse are the reports that are produced by independent Human rights groups, and just like any other illegal violation a citizen or group can take that report and start legal proceedings which would actually review the validity and severity of the case.

The reviewers will assess if this is a state sponsored violation as is the case with Iran, or if there is a deliberate negligence of the code or if it is simply a case of several individuals breaking conduct and if these violations are sever enough to action the legislation so if it is recognized that US or UK are also violating Human rights at a state sponsored policy then the rule applies to them.

 2.      a) Is the campaign only directed against fuel producing Middle Eastern States? 

No, I have answered that in one, if not please feel free to comment.

I would welcome this to be applied to all products but I have started with fuel a product that is having the main impact on both East and West.

 b) Would you also endorse boycotting of Israeli goods in Europe?

 As mentioned, it would be up to the committee and petitioners (not the same petitioners of the campaign but anyone who is raising the legal case) to decide who is in violation and are those violations sever enough to apply the legislation, lady justice is blind so the rule would apply to any country, however as you have correctly identified at a personal level my objective is mainly to help Iranians.

 c) “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that even if you collected several millions of signatures, considering the need for cheap fossil fuel, no other abusive state will come under a sale ban!  The target is not human rights abuse, the target is Iran.” With the current policy and attitudes, yes you are right but the way I see this campaign it is in some ways similar to the campaign against slavery i.e. it requires a dramatic change in attitudes but that is possible. We already know that fossil fuels are running out and that we can’t keep pumping carbon into the atmosphere now as Rob Hopkins (founder of the Transition movement, a radically hopeful and community-driven approach to creating societies independent of fossil fuel) explains we don’t need a crash approach to deal with this issue, and science can not always come up with magic answers so we are bound to have a attitude shift. You are asumming that tommorow is the same as today, I belive that the way things are tommorow can not be maintained the same as today! Can we stop China from buying the fuel, would these countries in practice put these legistlations even if approved in practice? I believe that consumer power is underestimated and even if we don’t get the signatures it would raise awareness of the issue and at least within EU the politicians to be wary of the role of Human rights outside EU. As for China they are also becoming more aware of consumer power and to give you an example I remind you of the health and safety scare that happened with chinese toys and the way they very quickly had to clean up their act. d) “am appalled by the abuse of human rights in Iran but to set up a campaign which directly targets the lifeline of the population in Iran and a campaign which is so partisan in its definition of abusers, would be destructive to those same people you mean to rescue.” 

I’m glad that you are also appalled however unlike you I have a strong belief that the oil revenue is enslaving the Iranian people as the revenues are not being used to make them prosper and just like Rumi’s story of the parrot and the merchant the charm of the parrot has become the reason for it being kept as a captive so it has to pretend to die in order to live! Another words an effective way to stop IRI is to make it difficult for it to maintain itself via the oil and gas revenues.



Setareh Cheshmakzan

Some questions Ramin

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

1. Is the campaign only directed against Middle Eastern abusers of human rights?

To my mind many abusive countries, including Western counties are being let off the hook.  The abuse of human rights by the US against  citizens of countries under its occupations and those captive in its jails are infamous.  Currently there are serious investigations underway in Britain regarding large scale torture and complicity to torture of both people under its occupation and of its own citizens by the British army and the government.  The US and the UK are fuel producing countries, should they also be included in these sanctions?

2. Is the campaign only directed against fuel producing Middle Eastern States? 

What about non-fuel producing ones, which gets me to some little but extremely influential Middle Eastern country whose record of war crimes and abuse of human rights was recently the subject of a vote in the UN General Assembly.  Israel was demanded by the majority vote to investigate these crimes set out in Goldstone enquiry, which it simply rejected with impunity.  The few countries who either voted against the resolution or abstained from voting are those same countries you are enlisting to your help to defend human rights in Iran!  If the spirit of this campaign is fighting the abuse of human rights through citizens power, would you also endorse boycotting of Israeli goods in Europe?

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that even if you collected several millions of signatures, considering the need for cheap fossil fuel, no other abusive state will come under a sale ban!  The target is not human rights abuse, the target is Iran.  Let us not forget that even in the unlikely event that the European states sanctioned Iran's fuel, there will be market in China, India and elsewhere.  Therefore such measures which are purely propagandistic in nature, would only serve to empower the abusive regime in Iran and provide it with justification for further internal clamp down. 

I am appalled by the abuse of human rights in Iran but to set up a campaign which directly targets the lifeline of the population in Iran and a campaign which is so partisan in its definition of abusers, would be destructive to those same people you mean to rescue.  

There are signatories here whose opinions I regard highly.  I would therefore ask you to please explain to me, in the light of the questions I have raised, why and how you justify such a partisan sanction.  Let me clarify that I am not taking issue with the necessity to fight for human and civil rights in Iran.



by ramintork on

I'm going to update this spot and provide regular progress on this campaign.

We have managed to get people who are celebrities in the Art world as well individuals in the media joining the group.

Please join and spread the news, these days with the advent of technology when it is possible for someone who finds a camera on a Greek Holiday locate the owner in France it must be possible with some networking to do something which will ultimately help people in Iran.


Thank you Ramin for a noble

by benross on

Thank you Ramin for a noble effort.

ebi amirhosseini

Ramin Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on



Ebi aka Haaji


Thanks Bijan

by ramintork on

We have people who under the threat of death and torture managed to raise the one million signatures, can we not do the same living safely in EU?

So Thanks for supporting this.

Bijan A M

Thanks for taking the initiative

by Bijan A M on

Just signed the petition.

Every bit helps. Hang in there. hope you get your million soon.


Thank you Abarmard

by ramintork on

Thanks for your suggestion, however this legislative change is required by EU citizens, but support from outside EU is appreciated.

I will write to EU based media and the MEPs and see if we can get the campaign extended.


To be heard further

by Abarmard on

Perhaps you could send your suggestion to NIAC and allow them to channel this great idea to larger audiences. And why stop there?

I will sign this. Thanks


New facebook group for the campaign

by ramintork on

I have just setup a facebook group that you can join to get updates.



Ramin Tork.


Thanks you, corrected the wrong link

by ramintork on

This is the correct link, I will update the Blog:-






by Princess on

The link you have provided here does not direct us to the right petition page. Your Facebook link does. I had the same problem with this link as Statira.


Hi It is on the main page

by ramintork on

"The aim of this campaign is to make it illegal for an EU country to buy fuel from a country that does not adhere to the UN Human rights charter. This will be in accordance with the auditing and reports that are produced by reputable organizations such as Human rights watch.




by statira on

Does everybody have to write their own petition's statement. I clicked the link, I don't see any specific statement regarding that petition?


Dear amirkabear4u

by ramintork on

I agree but just like any other trade which has a lot power behind it over time it can be overturned.

If you look at the history of 'the abolishment of slavery' the campaigners faced the same problem. This is the other side of the coin for the green movement i.e. an effective campaign by EU citizens for their Governments not to trade with Neda killers.

I'm sure if you ask most EU citizens they would not be happy for their Governments to buy fuel from totalitarian states and with this EU citizens' initiative legistlation which is becoming effective I see this as a real opportunity to involve a large group of people not just with Iranian interest but those who see a bigger picture for dealing with that region.

It is a simple formula, if EU does this, US could follow there could be consumer pressure on countries like China to follow. 

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

Agreed and Signed . Thank you .



by capt_ayhab on

I live in America but signed it nonetheless.




Signed and passed on

by Monda on

Thanks Ramin.


Dear Ramintork

by amirkabear4u on

as much as I admire your caring and action but regret to say all this abusing of human rights is deliberate by forces who are not necessary in middle east, to keep oil prices down (a bit partly like a blackmail approach). If you look at some third word countries they are doing better than us maybe because they do not have oil.

May god help us all.

Maryam Hojjat

I signed it!

by Maryam Hojjat on

Thanks for asking.

Payandeh IRAN & Iranians


Help from Lawyers specializing on EU Law would be welcome

by ramintork on

This campaign is to raise awareness from the outside Iran. So if you are a lawyer specializing in EU law your contribution would be welcome. Perhaps by doing this we can spread the Green movement to Middle East and make it more effective.


Thanks JJ

by ramintork on

I owe you one, I owe you a million actually!

Jahanshah Javid

Great idea

by Jahanshah Javid on

Signed. Thank you.


Thanks DK

by ramintork on

I like the new photo by the way.