UNITED NATIONS — Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi said Monday that opposition to the Iranian government is growing, spurred by an increase in government violence, more human rights violations and deepening poverty.
The human rights lawyer, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy, said in an interview with The Associated Press that she came to the United Nations to talk about the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and seek support for a draft UN General Assembly resolution that would condemn the country's rights record.
Although much of the opposition movement has gone underground since the violent crackdown after the disputed June 2009 presidential election, Ebadi said it definitely isn't faltering.
"I can tell you that opposition is increasing in Iran," she said. "Not only the government is becoming more violent every day, and there are more violations of human rights, but the issue of poverty has become another issue now. ... And, of course, poverty plays a big role in opposition."
Ebadi urged the international community "to bring the voice of the people of Iran and the political prisoners to the outside world," stressing that the human rights situation in Iran "is very bad ... (and) is worsening."