Nobel laureate Ebadi calls for sanctions on Iran

GENEVA (Reuters) - Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi urged countries on Friday to impose political sanctions on Iran by downgrading diplomatic ties and denying visas to officials, but rejected economic sanctions as hurting the Iranian people.


Ebadi said the rights situation was deteriorating rapidly and accused security forces of violently suppressing peaceful protests against what the opposition says was the fraudulent re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year.

"I am against economic sanctions and military attacks. However, if the Iranian government continues to violate human rights and ignore people's demands, then I start thinking about political sanctions," Ebadi told a human rights forum on Iran.

"Do not sell weapons to the Iranian government," she added.

Ebadi, speaking to Reuters afterwards, made clear that political sanctions should be imposed "the sooner the better, because human rights violations in Iran are growing every day."

"I don't mean cutting ties off totally with the Iranian government. What I mean is downgrading ties with the Iranian government, for example recalling respective ambassadors from Iran, downgrading diplomatic relations from the ambassador level to the charge d'affaires or consular level.

"In that way, it is not a total severing of ties but you manage to demonstrate to the Iranian people that human rights is respected and considered (as being) of the utmost importance by yo... >>>

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