Punitive measures to hold the Islamic Republic accountable for its deadly crackdown on dissent continue with Western sanctions and international investigations. 

In an interview released on Saturday, Canada’s envoy to the United Nations Bob Rae told Iran International’s correspondent that organizations focused on accountability have started to gather and verify information about the current wave of antigovernment protests. 

He praised efforts by the United Nations “to get to the root of the injustices that are happening to make sure that the investigations are in place; that we are gathering the information and the evidence that will lead to accountability.” 

The Canadian diplomat underlined that there should be consequences for the criminal acts, “and many things that are happening in Iran are criminal,” he said, noting that there are “abuses of human rights and abuses of international law.”

Bob Rae, the permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations (left) during an interview with Iran International’s Mahsa Mortazavi

He urged the people of Iran to be patient to see the results of mechanisms deployed to hold the regime accountable, saying there is no tribunal yet because the Islamic Republic is not a party to the International Criminal Court. However, he said that “there will be a reckoning; there will be an accountability process for the regime in Iran.” 

"We're not going to invade Iran, but we won't ignore what's happening either. The regime isn't stable or predictable because the ground underneath the feet of the regime is shifting all the time... Dictators think they can control everything, but they can't," he stated, adding that “Canada has always been a place of refuge.”

Earlier in the month, the Islamic Republic was voted out of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for policies contrary to the rights of women and girls. Members of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a US-drafted resolution to "remove with immediate effect the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission…for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term.” The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

It was the second step against the Islamic Republic’s violations of human rights during the current wave of protests. The first step by the United Nations was creating a fact-finding mission by the Human Rights Council. The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council voted on November 24 to launch an independent investigation into the regime’s deadly repression of protests that has killed around 500 civilians, including about 60 children.

The Islamic Republic might become more isolated in the Middle East, as policies of intervening in other countries affairs was condemned at the “Baghdad II” summit, held December 20 in Jordan aimed at resolving regional crises, particularly in Iraq. France and the European Union play a major role in the annual gathering. The first summit was held in Baghdad last year.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (left), the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (center), and French President Emmanuel Macron arrive at the start of the "Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership" in Sweimeh by the Dead Sea shore in central-west Jordan on December 20, 2022.

Etemad newspaper in Tehran cited Macron as talking about a regional project, supported by France, to limit Iran’s influence in the region. The daily quoted Macron as saying that he is convinced there is no solution to the problems of Lebanon, Iraq and Syria except through reducing Tehran's regional influence.

During the summit, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said, "We reject interference in its (Iraq) internal affairs, undermining its sovereignty, or attacking its lands.” At the same time, he added, "We do not accept any threat to be launched from Iraq against any of the neighboring countries or the region."

Since the beginning of the uprising in Iran in mid-September, Tehran has accused foreign countries, including regional rival Saudi Arabia – with which it has had no diplomatic relations since 2016 – of fomenting unrest as protests rage on.

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