Foreign Ministry lodges protest
July 6, 2010
Iran’s ambassador to Norway has been called into the Foreign Ministry in Oslo, to receive the Norwegian government’s formal protest against looming executions in Iran. In one of the cases, an Iranian mother faces being stoned to death for alleged adultery.
Iranian Ambassador Seyed Hossein Rezvani was summoned to the ministry at Vika Terrasse on Monday for a meeting with State Secretary Espen Barth Eide, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
“I repeated our overall concerns about the human rights situation in Iran, and took up three concrete cases,” Barth Eide told NRK.
One involved the case of Sakineh Ashtiani, sentenced to death by stoning, another involves Mohammadreza Haddafi, sentenced to death for a murder committed when he was younger than 15, and the third involves student Majid Tarakkoli, who’s being held in isolation because of his verbal opposition to the Iranian government.
Barth Eide said the ambassador was told that the Norwegian government will be following events in these cases closely.
Calling in a country’s ambassador is Norway’s strongest diplomatic form of signifying opposition. One local politician who is himself born in Iran, Mazyar Keshvari of the Progress Party, doesn’t think Norway has reacted strongly enough in opposing the looming executions.
“Norway should call home its own ambassador to Iran, and work for international travel restrictions on Iranian leaders,” he said.
Iran’s embassy in Oslo has been the target of several protests and Norway earlier this year granted asylum to an Iranian diplomat who said he no longer could represent his country’s government in good conscience, following its crackdown on demonstrators last year. Norway and Iran have also expelled each other’s diplomats.