Iran’s Regime FM Slammed at Opening UN HRC Session

Written by
Moussa Afshar

Today marks the opening of the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council, a UN body tasked with promoting and protecting human rights around the world. The session will run from February 28th to March 25th and will include discussions on a range of human rights issues. The opening session will feature speeches from high-level officials.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian regime’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the session amid protests by many who opposed his presence, including Iranian protesters outside the UN, who viewed his presence at the Human Rights Council as an insult to the more than 700 victims of the recent protests, with hundreds tortured and thousands imprisoned.

Amir-Abdollahian was a commander of the IRGC Quds Force, and his mentor and close friend was the eliminated Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, one of the most ruthless butchers of the Iranian regime. The IRGC has been designated a terrorist organization in the US. His association with the regime’s main arm of exporting terrorism abroad suggests a lack of commitment to peaceful conflict resolution and diplomacy.

Amir-Abdollahian started his incoherent speech by reiterating Tehran’s rhetoric on being a human rights champion and ranting against other nations that criticize the regime for its horrible record of human rights violations.

Acknowledging the 165 days of the nationwide uprising, the regime’s FM tied the protests to “terrorist elements,” “propagators of violence,” and “foreign states.” “The National Committee that was established for addressing different aspects of the unrest is also mandated to receive and investigate any complaint regarding the alleged use of unnecessary force by police,” Amir-Abdollahian claimed, seeking to diminish worldwide censure at the UN session by lying, “It is noteworthy that all of those who were arrested have been released.”

The “National Committee” for “investigation” is another regime apparatus for cracking down on protesters, and it also assists the regime’s intelligence ministry in preventing any investigation inquiry by international organizations into regime crimes.

Tehran’s man for terror diplomacy also doubled down on the regime’s grievances about its arch-foe, the People’s Mojahedin Organization. Without naming the group, he claimed, “The rule of anti-Iran terrorist groups in the recent crisis in my country was evident. Some states were involved in terrorism laundering. While applying a double standard, they provided considerable financial and logistical facilities to some violent and terrorist elements during the unrest.”

The regime was widely condemned for its human rights abuses, and Amir Abdollahian’s bogus claims were rejected by Foreign Ministers of other countries.

The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt, took the floor right after the Iranian regime’s FM Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said: “Listening just now to the representative from Iran, I was reminded of the importance of this forum reminded that this forum should not be abused to go against our collective efforts. Reminded of the importance of holding each other to account. This is not about interference in internal affairs. It is about upholding the commitment we have under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. Norway is deeply concerned about the worsening situation for human rights and women’s rights in Iran, not least a violent response to popular and peaceful demonstrations. We urge Iran to respond with meaningful reform and to immediately stop the executions. I repeat my strong condemnation of the executions that have been carried out.”

The Belgian FM Hadja Lahbib also stated: “A dismal illustration of this [human rights violations against women] is the almost total exclusion of women and girls in Afghanistan from all spheres of public life. This is also the case in Iran, with persistent discrimination against women and girls. The death of Mahsa Amini and the protest movement which gave rise to women in Iran are an indicator of the need for freedom of expression and the sense of injustice felt by the population. We condemn the court sentences, and the capital punishment pronounced against the protesters.”

“When states violate freedoms and hold rights in contempt, there is a need to act,” said the French FM Catherine Colonna. “This is a case in Iran where human rights defenders, particularly women, are targeted, and this must stop. Iranians have the right to freedom and justice. I would like to pay tribute to their bravery, and I think of Mahsa Amini and others, the many women who are defending liberty. Along with our European colleagues, we have already developed five tranches of sanctions against the perpetrators. This council cannot accept the policy of hostage-taking practiced by the Iranian government. All foreigners must immediately be released, and these shameless forms of blackmail must be stopped.”


Annalena Baerbock, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “It hurts to see that our power to protect the victims is limited. We also see these limits every clarification day with regard to the situation in Iran. But we have not folded our hands in resignation. In November, this council here voted in favor of setting up a fact-finding mission to document the human rights violation in Iran. The brutal suppression of protesters and the death of hundreds of women, men, and children. I met so many courageous human rights activists who told me after our vote. This gives us hope that the world has not forgotten us. I can assure you, in Iran, we will not forget you. We stand with you every single day. We call upon the authorities in Iran to finally grant the fact-finding mission access to the country, to stop the violent crackdown on the peaceful protests, and to refrain from imposing and carrying out the death penalty. No one in the 21st century should be able to trample on human rights without facing the consequences.”

The Dutch Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra stated: “In Iran, brave young girls and women, young boys and men are risking their lives to protest for their rights. It is courage of this kind that our world so desperately needs. And perhaps we should ask ourselves the uncomfortable question what do we ourselves risk by speaking out? I think that if we are really honest with ourselves, we will see that we risk far more by not raising our voices. So we must listen to each other and have the courage to speak out when we witness injustice. Because only in that way can we promote and protect human rights.”

Michael Martin, the Ireland Foreign Minister, also said: In Iran, we have witnessed the repression of young women and their supporters prevented from protesting peacefully for their rights and the application of the death penalty to citizens who are exercising their rights.

Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, the Foreign Minister of Iceland also said: “In the past year, the world has also been inspired by those in Iran who have risked their all to fight for human rights and an end to the subjugation of women by the state itself. In November, this council took a stand against the injustice and violence of the Islamic Republic of Iran used to try to stamp up peaceful protests by establishing a fact-finding mission. I am proud that Iceland played a role in this process. Unfortunately, the people of Iran are still being subjected to brutal violence and arbitrary actions by the states.”

Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education, and Sport of Liechtenstein said: “In Iran, the peaceful protests in favor of the respect of rights in particular for women and girls have been responded by a violent crackdown resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arbitrary arrests among protesters.”

As soon as Hossein Amir-Abdollahian started articulating his first words, a number of attendees including representatives from different countries, NGO members, and reporters left the hall to demonstrate their disgust and protest of the Iranian regime FM’s presence at a meeting this is supposed to elevate human rights.

Simultaneous with the UN Human Rights Session, freedom-loving Iranians, and supporters of Iran’s main opposition, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and its parent coalition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), held a demonstration. The protesters urged the international community to take a firm stance against the regime’s human rights abuses and recognize the Iranian people’s right to self-defense.

The demonstrators carried large banners and echoed the voice of their compatriots who have been struggling for freedom and democracy in Iran. The banners denounced the ruling theocracy and the return of the deposed monarchy. The protest aimed to raise awareness about the Iranian regime’s brutal suppression of human rights and its efforts to quash any opposition to its authoritarian rule. The protesters’ message was clear: the Iranian people should have the right to determine their own future and have the freedom to express their views without fear of persecution. The demonstration was a powerful display of solidarity among Iranians who sought to end the oppression of their people and the international community should support their efforts to establish a democratic Republic government that values human rights and freedom.

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