Iranian diplomat Bagher Asadi has been under arrest in Tehran since March, a report on Reuters claims.
The report indicates that Asadi’s arrest appears to be part of a policy of cracking down on political dissidents, which has gained momentum in the lead-up to the presidential election in June. However, the main reason for his arrest has not been announced yet.
Asadi reportedly published an article in 2004 expressing support for the reformists and warning against the consequences of conservatives taking power in Iran. In the article he expressed grave concern that “the conservatives' blatant disdain for human rights and republican aspects of governance, among other things, would inevitably invite outside censure and further complicate an already tenuous relationship."
Bagher Asadi worked at the Islamic Republic’s UN Mission in New York and has also served as chairman of the Group of 77 developing countries in Istanbul.
In 2003, Asadi was appointed by former UN chief Kofi Annan to a panel to examine the UN’s relation with civil society.