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Former Iranian Diplomat Hails 'Green Embassy Campaign'

Mohammed Reza Heydari
A former Iranian diplomat says the defection of another Iranian envoy to Europe shows the opposition Green Movement is flourishing, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Farzad Farhangian announced on September 14 that he is seeking asylum in Norway. He resigned from Iran’s Embassy in Brussels on September 10.

Farhangian is the third Iranian diplomat to defect in Europe this year in protest at Iran's crackdown on the opposition following the disputed June 2009 presidential election.

The first was Mohammed Reza Heydari, a former Iranian consular official in Norway who was granted asylum in Norway after resigning in January 2010.

Heydari told Radio Farda that Farhangian had joined the Green Embassy Campaign.

"We called our colleagues to join us in our first statement a few months ago. We asked them, 'Let's be our nation's voice rather than the representative of illegitimate government'," Heydari told Radio Farda.

Heydari said that despite the government’s claim to the contrary, Farhangian's action demonstrates that the Green Movement is alive and flourishing.

"This action is a response to the regime that is trying to show that the Green Movement and people’s discontent have ended.” Heydari said.

The other Iranian diplomat to defect is Hussein Alizadeh, who resigned as second in charge at the Iranian Embassy in Finland on September 10 and is now seeking asylum there..

Heydari expressed hope that European countries will support his colleagues and grant them asylum.