Monday, January 18, 2010

Iran Diplomat Hints at More Resignations

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Mohammed Reza Heydari (aka Heidari) resigned his post as consul at the Iranian Embassy in Norway earlier this month to protest Tehran's crackdown on pro-reform demonstrators and to show his solidarity with the goals of the opposition Green Movement. In an interview with RFE/RL Radio Farda's Sharham Mirian, Heidari says he expects other Iranian diplomats to follow his example.

RFE/RL: What was the main reason you resigned your diplomatic post?

Mohammad Reza Heydari: As I have said repeatedly, the main reason for my decision was to announce to the Iranian people and those who are with the Green Movement that I am on their side, and that I want to help them with my action. And also to denounce the killings and the crackdown on my fellow citizens by agents inside the country. The whole world is saddened by [what is happening].

Radio Farda: The spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Ministry [Ramin Mehmanparast] has characterized your resignation as [the government's] termination of your service in Norway. He has also talked about a man he says is your brother, a Morteza Heidari. What do you think he's talking about?

Heydari: I have no brother named Morteza Heidari. This person is a reporter at Iranian TV's Channel 2 in Iran, and I have no relationship whatsoever with him. These are rumors [generated by the government]. With regard to my [diplomatic posting], in fact, it would have been terminated next year. But for reasons that Iran's Foreign Ministry knows -- and because of my support for [opposition leader] Mr. [Mir Hossein] Musavi and the Green Movement, [my posting ended prematurely]. So my position has not been terminated. My child is still enrolled in high school [in Norway] and is not going to college anytime soon, so that's not the reason why I'm remaining here. Because of my support [for the opposition] after the election, [Foreign] ministry people decided that anyone who was allegedly close to the Green Movement would be summoned to Iran [to be replaced]. (Read more...)