Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani during his weekly press conference on November 28, 2022

Tehran Won’t Cooperate With UN Human Rights Probe

Monday, 11/28/2022

Iran will reject a newly-approved independent UN investigation into the country's repression of antigovernment protests, like it refused to cooperate with UN human rights rapporteurs for 30 years. 

In his weekly press conference on Monday, the Islamic Republic foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that "Iran will have no cooperation with the political committee formed by the UN Rights Council," referring to the UN Human Rights Council’s Thursday resolution based on which an international panel will be formed to investigate the violence against protesters. 

Kanaani made the remarks as he showed up at his weekly press conference with a chemical mask, which was apparently meant to allude to Germany's support for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war and the alleged supply of material for chemical warfare by Berlin to the Ba’ath regime. Tehran also summoned German envoy Hans-Udo Muzel on Monday over Berlin’s key role in holding the UN Human Rights Council special session.

Criticizing the UN for “the hasty employment of human rights mechanisms and their instrumental use against independent states,” he said such an approach will not provide any help for the advancement of human rights. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not engage in any cooperation, whatsoever, with the politicized committee established in the name of a fact-finding mission.”

Kanaani said that Iran has set up a national committee comprised of experts, lawyers, official and non-official representatives “within the framework of its national responsibilities which is carrying out an in-depth investigations into the current developments across the country.”

Repeating earlier unsubstantiated claims that foreign countries and their agents are instigating the unrest in Iran, Kanaani said, "We have specific information proving that the America, Western countries and some of American allies have had a role in the protests" without disclosing any details. 

Many human rights organizations have criticized the Islamic Republic for not allowing UN Special Rapporteurs on the Human Rights Situation in Iran since 1992. Javaid Rehman, the current rapporteur whose mandate was extended earlier in the year, was appointed July 6, 2018, following Asma Jahangir and Ahmed Shaheed who served before him. The HRC had re-established the mandate of a rapporteur on Iran’s human rights situation in 2011 after terminating an earlier one in 2002. 

UN Human Rights Council in session

The UN Human Rights Council voted November 17 -- 25 votes in favor, six nays and 16 abstentions -- to launch an independent investigation into Iran's deadly repression of protests, which has killed hundreds of civilians. According to the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), from September 16 until Friday, November 25, at least 448 protestors have been killed, of which 63 were minors. While the Islamic Republic has not provided accurate figures of those detained in the protests, the watchdog went on to say that at least 18,170 protesters have been arrested including 565 students. HRANA added that 156 cities and more than 140 universities across Iran have also been the scenes of anti-government protests.

On Sunday, the UN Children's Fund also censured the violence against children in Iran, calling for an end to all forms of abuse directed at children.

In another global move over Iran’s denial of women's rights and crackdown on protests, calls on the UN to expel the Islamic Republic from the UN Commission on the Status of Women are also getting stronger with Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands and the United States behind the push. UN Watch, an independent non-governmental human rights group based in Geneva, has drafted a resolution for the 54-nation UN Economic Social Council (ECOSOC) to remove Iran.

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