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Listening To Shirin Ebadi

In an article for "Foreign Policy," RFE/RL's President Jeffrey Gedmin spoke to Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi about her changing views on Iran:

The 62-year-old human rights lawyer had denounced the Bush administration's democracy-promotion efforts. She sought reform of the system, not its demise, she would say. She deplored the "axis of evil" rhetoric and consistently attacked the Bush State Department's initiative to funnel $75 million to oppositionists and civil society groups. She hasn't changed her mind on this point. Ebadi told me she continues to believe that outside aid for the democracy movement is a mistake. But it's hard not to notice, as the situation in Iran has changed, that Ebadi's views are evolving.

In our conversation, she emphasized repeatedly, "You cannot do business with the regime." She is convinced that Iran's leadership is not negotiating in good faith on the nuclear issue and would not abide by any agreement reached with the United States and the European Union.

Read the full article here.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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