Emadeddin Baghi

Prominent Iranian human rights activist Emadeddin Baghi has urged France to reconsider its stance on the Geneva nuclear talks, saying France’s position has played into the hands of hardliners inside Iran, which undermines the work of human rights activists.

In a letter addressed to French President Francois Hollande, Baghi writes:  "In my capacity as a human rights activist, I would like to urge you to reconsider your government's decision to prevent the initiation of a first step in the world’s process of building confidence in the peacefulness of Iran's nuclear program and the eventual ending of economic, technical and scientific sanctions against Iran."

The Geneva talks hit a snag 10 days ago, even though the 5+1 foreign ministers had taken part personally, with an apparent will to reach a final agreement. Reports indicate that France introduced new concerns into the talks at the eleventh hour, raising strong objections to Iran’s insistence that its right to enrich uranium be recognized in writing in the agreement.

Baghi insists that an “attempt to paralyze and destroy the country’s economy” is not conducive to improvements in human rights conditions, referring to the international sanctions imposed on Iran.

"Your government's decision to block the conciliatory efforts of the new Iranian government is not only a rejection of the popular will in Iran but will also unwittingly pave the road for the unwritten alliance of extremist and authoritarian forces inside Iran and external radical forces bent on destabilizing the country. It makes the task of Iran's human rights activists even harder,” Baghi adds in his letter to Hollande.

The Geneva talks resumed on Thursday November 21 and moved into the second day without any substantial progress reported.