Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Shirin Ebadi Proposes Nuclear Referendum

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi is proposing a "nuclear referendum" in Iran about the nuclear issue. In an article for Rooz Online, she writes:

"...Unlike the suggestions to hold a referendum on choosing a political system or altering the constitution, which have been opposed by the Iranian government, the country's officials should not have any logical reasons against holding a national referendum on the nuclear issue. If, in a just and transparent environment, the Iranian people vote for the continuation of the government's nuclear policies, then the referendum would be completely in favor of the government, strengthening its negotiating position with respect to the international community's. On the other hand, even if the results of this referendum are contrary to the government's official nuclear policies, the country's officials should not be unhappy with holding it. Clearly, no nation will be ready to pay the price of policies that a majority of its citizens oppose. Hence, this will bring about a dangerous and uncertain situation for the Iranian government in its confrontation with the international community, forcing it to "retreat" under pressure from below. This presents the Iranian government with a face-saving opportunity to retreat from its current position in an "honorable" way, rather than be labeled to be scared of international pressures... "

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