According to this CND Press release, the Iranian Ambassador, Dr Seyed Mohammed Hossein Adeli spoke at this weekend’s the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s Annual Conference:
“He will be giving Iran’s perspective on the current controversy around the Iranian civil nuclear power programme and will also be answering questions in a special lunchtime slot at 1.30pm on Saturday 15th.”
This is odd in two ways:
1. CND’s argument certainly used to be that civil nuclear programmes should be opposed because their essential function was the production of the raw materials for nuclear weapons. Indeed, they used to hold marches against them. Nowadays, so it seems, CND is not so sure. The only hint on the press release that anybody might doubt that Iran’s ambitions are limited to a civil nuclear power programme is the recognition that some people might find Iran’s recent conduct just a little bit controversial.
2. The second odd thing about the invitation is well expressed by the Worker-communist Party of Iran:
In July this year two gay teenagers – one under 18 at the time of arrest – were publicly hanged in the Iranian city of Mashad for having a sexual relation.
Last August 16-year-old Atefeh Rajabi was hanged in the city of Neka because she had slept with a man she was not married to.
In July 2001 31-year-old Maryam Ayoubi was stoned to death in Evin Prison in Tehran for sex outside marriage…
These are just a few examples of the unbelievably horrific atrocities going on in Iran. In Iran you are arrested, flogged, tortured and executed for being a socialist, a communist, a union organiser, a women’s rights activist, a dissident student, an atheist, a non-Muslim or just for having ‘illicit’ sex. Tens of thousands of political dissidents have been executed for simply not wanting this fascistic regime.
Today a spokesman for such a regime is to speak at the CND conference! This is an outrage! It is an insult to the people of Iran who are struggling to get rid of this brutal regime. It is a slur on the memory of the countless victims of this murderous regime.
We condemn the CND’s invitation of this human rights’ abuser to its conference.
In short, instead of demonstrating against the Ambassador of a nuclear proliferator and a serial human rights abuser, CND feted him as an honoured guest.
Accordingly to the Scotsman the Ambassador delivered a stout defence of Iran’s “inalienable” right to develop a nuclear power supply. The enjoyment of the speech by the Conference – whose delegates included Labour CND’s Walter Wolfgang – was only slightly marred by those protestors who shouted: “Fascists,” at the ambassador and the organisers of the conference, and were promptly ejected…