SHEEHAN: An Opportunity to Focus on Human Rights in Iran | Al Jazeera | Op-Ed

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SHEEHAN: An Opportunity to Focus on Human Rights in Iran | Al Jazeera | Op-Ed | 28 Sept 2015 | Print #PDF

As the United Nations General Assembly gets underway, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs, weighs in at Al Jazeera on the human rights situation in Iran and the unique opportunity before world leaders.


“The Iranian regime continues to execute its citizens at a higher rate than any U.N. member state. In fact the regime boasts the highest rate of executions per capita in the world, surpassing even China. More than two thousand have been executed on President Hassan Rouhani’s watch in just two years, more than in any similar period in the past twenty-five years.

Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution makes the case that regime change in Teheran is the “best nonproliferation policy.” But regime change from within may also be the best strategy to uphold human rights.

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a mistake by treating Tehran as a fixture of the Middle East landscape but other U.S. officials need not make the same mistake. International law does not simply guarantee sovereignty. It upholds human rights. States are instruments of and by the people, not the other way around.”

Dr. Sheehan is the Director of the graduate programs in Negotiations & Conflict Management and Global Affairs & Human Security in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore.

For additional research or media related updates or to learn more about Dr. Sheehan, follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan or link to his research profiles.

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