Mohammad Reza Heydari
|Mohammad Reza Heydari
محمد رضا حیدری
|Expert at the Bureau of the Main Consular Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
1990 – 20 August 1992
|Consul of Iran to Georgia|
20 August 1992 – 6 August 1996
|Senior Expert at the National Organization for Civil Registration|
6 August 1996 – 20 August 2000
|Consul of Iran to Germany (Frankfurt)|
20 August 2000 – 20 October 2003
|Senior Expert at the Passport and Visa Office bureaus of Tehran’s international airports|
20 October 2003 – 21 October 2007
|Consul general of Iran to Norway|
21 October 2007 – 5 January 2010
12 October 1966 |
Mohammad Reza Heydari ( محمد رضا حیدری born 12.Oktober.1966) is a former Iranian consul in Oslo who resigned his post in January 2010 in acting against his own country's Government. He resigned due to the Iranian government's violent crackdown on protesters in the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests. Mohammed-Reza Heydari is also the first Iranian diplomat to resign in protest against the regime's violence against the people.
Career and education
He has a Masters of International Politics from Institute for Political & International Studies, Tehran (IPIS) and served the Iranian diplomatic service for 20 years. He had a 5-year mission in Georgia, 3 years in Germany and from 2007 to January 2010 in Norway.
His previous posts included: Senior Expert at the Bureau of the Main Consular Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Iranian Consul in Georgia; Senior Expert at the National Organization for Civil Registration; Iranian Consul in Frankfurt, Germany; Senior Expert at the Passport and Visa Office bureaus of Tehran’s international airports ; Iranian Consul in Oslo, Norway.
Heydari quit on 7 January 2010 saying that his act is in opposition to Iran's latest Internal issues. He tried to convince other Iranian diplomats to join him in resigning their posts but remained alone as reported. Iran's Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki confirmed his resignation but said that the government had not accepted it.
In January after his resignation, he said he had requested political asylum in Norway, where he and his family were living. On February 17, 2010, Norwegian immigration authorities granted Heydari and his family asylum. In his interviews with BBC, Mr. Heydari mentioned that he has been a supporter of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Iran’s Green Movement. Demonstrators in Iran refer to Mr. Heydari in their slogans as Iran’s ‘Green Ambassador’.
As Iran marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, a high-ranking Iranian defector warned that the national unity of Iran could be threatened if the government steps up its campaign of violence against opposition groups. "If they (Iranian officials) move in the direction of violence, they will not be able to control the system and we might move in the direction in which Iran's unity then might be compromised all together," Mohammed Reza Heydari, Iran's former down graded staff in consular section of Iranian Embassy in Oslo, Norway, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. He said that he hopes the strikes, civil disobedience, and non-violent protests in his homeland will "break the back" of the government and force it to listen to what the people say. "The cause (of) bringing the message, bringing different groups together, is starting a referendum to have free elections in Iran so all these groups can stand together and bring about a democratic government to meet the demands of all religious and ethnic minorities as well," he said.
Heydari told Amanpour that the divisions in Iran are reflected in his country's embassy in Oslo. "There's chaos ... The diplomatic corps and the intelligence corps are split at our embassies right now," he said.
Green Embassy Campaign
After his resignation, Mr. Heydari founded the ‘Green Embassy Campaign’. Green Embassy Campaign is an non governmental organizations (NOG). Mohammad Reza Heydari persuaded the other Iranian diplomats and the members of staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran to join this campaign and instead of being representatives of a ‘coup d'etat government’ as he calls it, become, in his opinion, the ambassadors of their right-seeking nation.