Diplomatic Missed Opportunities

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon promised the international community that he would address human rights during his trip to Tehran in late August. At the end of his trip, he announced only, “I have urged the authorities during my visit this time to release opposition leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and social activists to create the conditions for free expression and open debate. I also urge Iran to strengthen cooperation with the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, in particular the Special Rapporteur. I have discussed this matter with your leadership.”

It is unclear what, if any, concessions Ban obtained from the Iranian leadership regarding the ongoing human rights crisis. His office has not released any specifics about the conversations he had with top-ranking officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.