Ambassador of Iran to Norway – Seyed Hossein Rezvani claims
(L) Ambassador of Iran to Norway – Mr. Seyed Hossein Rezvani in an exclusive interview with Editor in Chief of The Oslo Times Hatef Mokhtar (R)
Exclusive Interview with the Ambassador of Iran to Norway – Mr. Seyed Hossein Rezvani First of all we would like to thank you on behalf of The Oslo Times for accepting our invitation to share your candid views on the recent cutting off the Iranian Radio and television networks from “EUTEL SAT” satellite by UK. It is indeed a privilege to have you on The Oslo Times panel of exclusive interviews and we feel truly proud in welcoming you here.
TOT: a). What is your reaction toward the recent hostile move of UK in cutting off the Iranian Radio and television networks from “EUTEL SAT” satellite? b). What is your assessment about the goals and motives of perpetuators of such a move and what sort of contradiction and legal implication does it entail, as far as, international agreements and particularly International Human Right norms and values regarding the Freedom of expression and free dissemination of information are concerned?
Iran’s Envoy: As you rightly qualified this illegal, absurd and refutable action as ‘hostile move’ Perpetuated jointly by the British and the American Governments, it is as matter of fact not only a slap on the face of all international agreements, norms and values, but also a sinister and shameful act which actually violates every single international Human Rights instruments which defines guarantees, promotes and safeguard the right to freedom of speech and free flow of information.
As you are well aware it has particularly in recent years been a well established practice of the UK and the US to silence and marginalize any dissenting voice or objective media which can function as an alternative source of information for the public at large.
Time and again they have demonstrated this zero tolerance attitude vis a via any broadcasting network which is not in convergence with policy and guidelines of the mainstream and corporate media!!!
And to achieve this sinister and undemocratic objective, they resort to invoking security grounds and concerns as legitimate justification for legislating and imposing not only harsh censorship but a total cut off and blackout of any media which dares to standup to the main stream media and broadcast the voice of the voiceless and disseminate information on principles of objectivity and righteousness.
Another important point which I have to elaborate and underline is that, in the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the blocking of the Iranian Networks off the EUTEL SAT by the British government and supported by the US government is clearly driven by dual motivations and objectives. It’s an attempt by the said countries to hit two birds with one stone. Silencing an alternative voice which is cognizant of its responsibility to constantly enlighten its audience and simultaneously escalate its hostile attitude and antagonistic policy of the so-called isolation of Iran.
On behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran I would, therefore, wish to register my strongest protest and condemnation to UK’s biased and hypocritical move in cutting Iranian Radio and television networks off the air. An illegal move which is cowardly targeting the very foundation of democratic norms and values with long term detrimental consequences on free flow of information, as well as freedom of speech.
I would now like to elaborate different aspects of illegality of this move, and its flagrant contradiction with international Human Rights instruments. Based upon international agreements and treaties the outer space does not belong to any specific individual or country, rather all parties are obliged to use it peacefully and on an equal basis. Therefore having access to more advanced technology does not entitle any country to deprive others from using outer space. The ‘‘Eutelsat’’ illegal action of cutting Iranian Radio and TV networks off the air is blatant violation of different articles of the UN charter which emphasizes on freedom of expression.
This move violates Human Rights conventions the same conventions which the “WEST” claims are not being respected by other countries. It goes without saying that, under the enormous pressure and in a vivid contradiction of bilateral agreements these companies do not have much of a choice but to submit to illegitimate and unjustified demands of their respective governments. The west’s predominant approach is utilization of political means to pressurize the international communication companies, with the aim of imposing their ulterior political views on them. Silencing an alternative voice at the international level is actually the extention of the “West” existing scheme of silencing the alternative voices in their own countries, despite the fact that pluralism is highly advocated as an unquestionable valuing their societies .
The rising pace of censorship processes in the “West” is alarming. In the age of globalization, and the network world, the international community is moving toward further censorship and sophistication. Negatively affected by the unhealthy political trends, the prospect of the free international communication is endangered.
Results of a study conducted indicates that the US and the UK governments are now using more means and instruments for substantive censure of media ,as well as, monitoring of the international communication. In so doing they violate the private domain of the individuals on the so called “Security” grounds on numerous occasions.
As a matter of fact with creation of security environment and emergency circumstances, grounds for intervention in internal and private communication of individuals, would be provided.
The international community must stop the existing abuse and prevent the attempt of certain countries to intervene in private communication of individuals, as well as, international communication of countries. This will undoubtedly leave a very dangerous precedence, a scheme which is even contradictory to values that the west has been advocating for centuries.
Based upon reliable information, following the massive public protests and social unrest of recent year in the UK, during which the social networks were heavily used by the protesters, the British government signed agreements with tweeter and facebook which would allow the said companies to function in UK only if they follow London Policies and totally delete from their sites all the material which are not deemed appropriate from London’s point of view. Similar policy is being pursued by the American government.
So far five pieces of legislation have been adopted by the US congress, which obliges the internet site to fully observe the government’s views and delete the intended substance from the site. Therefore the British and US have opted for Deletion of the whole undesired news and information instead of censoring it. Certain western governments also use a policy known as ‘FALAK’ to pressure and persuade compliance of media and communication firms with their view points and stance. Amongst these instruments of indirect pressure is non-allocation of governmental assistance or subsidies, black mailing and threats of cancelation of the designated band width, lack of access to governmental sources of information, lack of access to governmental deeds, etc.
TOT: Based on information received, the current session of the United Nation General Assembly is going to consider and vote on the candidature of five countries including that of the United State for the membership of the Human Rights Counsel, which is the UN Human Rights Watch Dog. Considering the Human Right policies and practices of the US, domestically and internationally, what is your view points and assessment about its candidature?
Iran’s Envoy: Having an appalling records of flagrant and systematic violation of Human Rights at home and particularly at different parts of the world, The United State Government is undoubtedly devoid of smallest degree of legitimacy, and competence to become a member of United Nation Human Rights council. Acquiring the council membership by the US would be a devastating blow and a set back to Human Rights promotion and protection.
It would also be a major disservice to the international community at large. Therefore, the danger and negative implication of such unwarranted development should be brought at the fore front and be at the focus of international attention. Now, before I share with you some instances of gross violation of Human Rights and fundamental freedom systematically perpetuated by the US government, I would like to recall the fact that during the Bush administration, United State had major concern and reservation about the establishment of the UN Human Rights council, and that was why it did not support the respective GA resolution which sought to create the council, but later on, during the Obama administration, it changed course and with the aim of taking advantage along the line of it’s hidden political agenda, adopted a proactive approach vis a vis the council.
Exerting all possible efforts to prevent the council from adopting objective resolution in condemnation of the gross and systematic violation of Human Rights of the Palestinian by Israel on the occupied territories, (just as the US routinely manage to do in blocking countless resolution by invoking its veto right within the framework of United Nation security council), is one of the out-standing goals of US for having an active participation in the council!!!
Now, I would like to share with you non-exhaustive list which reveals the sustained pattern of systematic and gross violation of Human Rights by the US government at home and aboard. Suppression of the “Wall street movement”, with record breaking number of peaceful protesters detention. Arbitrary massacring of innocent civilian by “human hunter drone” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Establishment of illegal and covert detention centers in different part of the world.
Maintaining the highest number of inmates and acknowledged exercise of systematic torture, such as, water boarding and sleep deprivation in prisons and detention centers, with the aim of extraction of information and involuntary and forced confession from the inmates.
And as I said, the list goes on and on… Thank you!