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The Right to Pass Nationality to the Children of Iranian Mothers

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


We have been lucky in the past three years that a couple of pigeons have found a home for their nest on top of the cupboard on our north side balcony.  This year we believe that the chicks from last year came and made their nest in the same place.  We have a few photographs of our pigeon's offspring that we took, taking great care not to disturb them. 



Writing for Payvand has brought me many good things, in particular finding new friends, many of whom write to me and, when they are in Tehran, come to visit me; and when we click, we usually stay good friends.  This has been truer among the lady readers, as I believe that these days many women, wherever they are from and whatever background they have, share many common goals and values. What we miss in the length of our new friendship we compensate with depth.



One such friend is F who for me is like a dear niece in my heart.  This lady has an Iranian mother and a Swedish father.  She was in Tehran about two years ago meeting her grandmother and other members of her family.  She wanted to be able to stay here and work without being treated as a foreigner.  We tried everything and went to many offices in vain.  Sadly she left but still wants to come back here to stay.  Recently I met a young man from England, here in Tehran, who is also in the same situation.


Recently, I accepted an invitation to be on a committee of volunteers and activists who want to try to change the particular law which specifies that Iranian nationality can only be passed to a child through his or her father.   They campaign for the right of Iranian nationality to be given to the children of Iranian mothers who have married foreigners. The campaign has a website where you may find out more.


One of the aims of this campaign has already been reached.  The Iranian Parliament (Majlis) last month passed a law granting the children of Iranian mothers the right to apply for Iranian citizenship after they reach 18 years of age.  This bill has to be approved by other higher councils in order to be applicable and become law.  It does not however apply to those children who were not born in Iran.  We can only hope that soon an amendment will be added to this law to include all children of Iranian mothers.


I am writing this piece in order to let you know about the issues here at large and to also ask your help. If you know anyone who is in the same situation please ask them to contact me or write to the campaign directly.  We are gathering cases in order to show the lawmakers that there are many who are affected by this situation which is yet another discrimination against women.  We can only hope and pray that this change happens soon and one by one, all such laws that discriminate against women change as well. Inshallah!



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... Payvand News - 10/6/06 ... --

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