Iran rejects ‘weaponization of human rights, selectivity and double standards’

October 30, 2021 - 21:6

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian diplomat in New York has called on certain states to stop weaponizing human rights amid tensions between Iran and the United Nations over a UN report criticizing Iran’s human rights record. 

Zahra Ershadi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, has criticized the approach of some states to human rights, describing it as selective. 

Addressing the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, Ershadi said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran remains seriously concerned about the ever-increasing greed for targeting independent nations with country-specific resolutions. Counter-productive by nature, such resolutions pose a deadly threat to the cause of human rights. My Government reiterates its call on certain States to – once and for all – shelve and abandon weaponization of human rights, selectivity and double standards and instead, cherish human rights mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review.”

At the start of her statement, Ershadi underlined the need for human rights to become a common cause for all. “Protection and promotion of human rights should be a common cause for all. We place a premium on genuine and non-political concern about human rights, mutual respect and dialogue. It is an irrefutable fact that the only way to guarantee promotion and protection of human rights is through encouraging dialogue and cooperation based upon mutual respect and on an equal footing. The Islamic Republic of Iran underscores the need for all Member States to remain open and inclusive to dialogue, respect the diversity of civilizations and the development paths independently chosen by countries, and refrain from imposing one’s own social system and model on others,” she said. 

Ershadi noted, “Reiterating our principled position on non-recognition and rejection of country-specific mandates, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its genuine interaction with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other competent UN human rights mechanisms to collaborate on the protection and promotion of human rights.”

The Iranian diplomat pointed out, “While we observe our international obligations to help promote and protect human rights globally, we will continue to focus on serving our people, further deepen our truly democratic system of governance and institutionalize our human rights accomplishments. We continue to witness the application of unilateral coercive measures, which are contrary to the purpose and principles of the UN Charter and international law, multilateralism and the basic norms of international relations. Such measures violate human rights by hindering the well-being of the population in the targeted countries, in particular women and children. The cruel punitive measures are maliciously designed to hinder people’s access to much-needed medicine and drain Iran’s resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ershadi also underlined “the important role of the Human Rights Council in confronting and addressing vicious waves of racism, violent extremism and terrorism. The Human Rights Council has a role to play in raising global awareness about the imminent and fast mobility of the evil forces of violent extremism and terrorism.”

The Iranian diplomat responded to Israeli allegations against Iran. She said these allegations are “baseless.”

Ershadi said, “It is no secret that no matter how the child-killer Israeli regime attempts to raise unfounded allegations against Iran, it cannot hide its heinous crimes committed against the innocent Palestinian people on a daily basis. The ugly face of Zionism, racism and Apartheid cannot be whitewashed by cheap rhetoric.”

The diplomat’s statement on human rights came on the heels of an earlier statement by the Iranian foreign ministry rejecting a UN human rights report on Iran.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Wednesday reacted to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, dismissing it as “biased and confrontational.”

Khatibzadeh said the report submitted to the UN General Assembly is selective and politically motivated. He rejected the worthless allegations made in the report as deplorable, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

The ministry spokesman emphasized that the report is contrary to the principles and criteria set forth in the rules governing the work of reporters, including the need to obtain facts using objective and reliable information from reliable sources. Khatibzadeh noted that the report can in no way give a true and accurate assessment of the human rights situation in Iran.

He referred to the repeated enmity and unfounded accusations made by the UN Special Rapporteur against the Islamic Republic, saying this record has completely damaged the credibility of his reports and turned them into political statements by terrorist groups and opponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Referring to the political and illegitimate goals of the report, Khatibzadeh expressed regret over the targeted concentration of the UN Special Rapporteur on allegations without heeding the measures that have improved human rights in Iran. Khatibzadeh said as stressed repeatedly, appointing a special rights rapporteur for a country like Iran which is under the pressure of the U.S. economic terrorism but has remained committed to its citizens and the international community is basically unjustified and non-constructive.

Khatibzadeh stated that the Islamic Republic, as a democratic system and within the framework of religious obligations and adherence to its constitution and other laws and international treaties, has taken steps to develop and promote human rights at the national, regional and international levels and is committed to it. He noted that the special rapporteur should first wake up from deep sleep and condemn the devastating effects of economic terrorism on Iranians' access to basic necessities, including medical and pharmaceutical items during the Covid crisis.

Khatibzadeh also spoke of those who were behind the agenda of the special rapporteur, saying some of the countries, which carry out the largest number of international human rights attacks against Iran, impose or enforce oppressive sanctions against the Iranian people, sell advanced weapons to criminals, cooperate strategically with the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people, and support terrorist groups. Therefore, he said, these countries are themselves the biggest violators of human rights in the world.

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