Iranian diplomat resigns in Finland
It is being reported that Iranian diplomat Hossein Alizadeh, who told Reuters that he was number two in Finland, has resigned in protest of the brutality of the regime and is now considering claiming political asylum in Finland. This would make him the second diplomat to have defected since last year’s disputed election sparked widespread protests.
Iran’s Press TV is reporting that the country’s Foreign Ministry denies that Alizadeh was employed as a diplomat at the time and that, in fact, his mission had officially ended in August.
Reuters has a quote:
“I have resigned definitively in protest — I am no longer an Iranian diplomat,” Alizadeh said by telephone from Finland.
Alizadeh’s resignation was announced by the Green Wave movement, founded by Paris-based Iranian exile Amir Hossein Jahanchahi. It is unclear at this stage whether Alizadeh with join the movement, but it does appear that he intends to be a dissident. He reportedly also said the following:
“I don’t consider myself any more a diplomat standing beside a brutal Iranian regime,” Mr Alizadeh said.
”I have let the embassy know that I have resigned from my job and … I’m not any more a diplomat.
”I am a political dissident.”
Mr Alizadeh said he was considering what to do next but had not applied for political asylum. [The Age]
While of course this news is not earth-shattering, it is interesting to consider it as part of how the protest movement is taking shape since the disputed election. It appears that, if anything, it has definitely emboldened a lot more people, both within Iran and within the diaspora, to air their grievances, speak out and become dissidents. This will probably accelerate internal repression, this movement definitely does not have the strength to change that, certainly not in the near future.