Finland grants asylum to Iranian former diplomat
Hossein Alizadeh praises Finland for decision
Former diplomat Hossein Alizadeh, who resigned from the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki in September, has been granted asylum in Finland. Alizadeh and his family were granted refugee status and permanent residence permits under the Geneva Refugee Convention.
Alilzadeh quit the number-two position at the embassy because he opposes the policies of the Iranian government, particularly the alleged electoral fraud linked with the 2009 presidential elections.
He said that Iran prohibited its diplomatic personnel from commenting on the outcome of the elections in any way.
Alizadeh is seen as a diplomat of the so-called “green embassies”. These diplomats have come out against the current Iranian regime and its leader, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
After last year’s elections, large numbers of Iranians took to the streets to demonstrate, but Ahmadinejad’s regime violently crushed the protests.
Before the elections, two “green diplomats” resigned from the Iranian Foreign Ministry, and after the elections four more quit.
Finland granted asylum to Alizadeh quickly.
“The reasons were obvious”, said a Finnish Foreign Ministry official who wanted to remain anonymous. The reference was to the treatment of opposition figures in Iran.
Alizadeh was relieved and grateful for the decision.
“I rejoice not just on behalf of myself and my family, but also because this proves that Finnish officials deeply understand what is happening in Iran now.”
Alizadeh worked for the Iranian Foreign Ministry for 20 years.
Previously in HS International Edition:
High-ranking Iranian diplomat in Helsinki quits to protest current government (13.9.2010)
Iran: Defections of diplomats were not politically motivated (22.9.2010)
Disgruntled children of the Islamic Revolution (21.9.2010)
Iran silent over defection of diplomat (14.9.2010)