Iran envoy reacts to joint statement by female foreign ministers

January 4, 2023 - 19:54

TEHRAN – Iranian Ambassador to Denmark Afsaneh Nadipour has penned an open letter in response to a recent joint statement by female foreign minister on the developments in Iran. 

In October, sixteen female foreign ministers met online to discuss the alleged human rights violations in Iran. The meeting was hosted by Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and attended by her counterparts from Albania, Andorra, Australia, France, Germany, Iceland, Kosovo, Libya, Liechtenstein, New Zealand and Norway.

“We, as women foreign ministers, are gathered in solidarity with the courageous Iranian women engaging in their right of peaceful assembly and advocating for their human rights. We recognize that Iranian women are also fighting for a better future for all Iranians and we have the moral obligation to support them. We strongly support the vital work of human rights defenders, in particular women human rights defenders, who ensure people around the world are free to exercise and enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” they said in a joint statement after the meeting. 

Nadipour said this expression of support was “disingenuous and politically-motivated.” She asked her female counterparts to avoid the double standards applied against the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to Iran’s IRNA official news agency. 

 She pointed to the valuable presence of Iranian women in the UN Commission on the Status of Women of which Iran has recently been removed. “During my years of work and experience in this field, I have noticed that in the meetings of this commission, Iranian women have actively participated in the discussions and decisions of the commission and used the opportunity to exchange ideas with others in a constructive international interaction that provides the basis for the introduction of best practices at the national level and multilateral learning.”

Emphasizing the inclusion in international and multilateral efforts to improve the status of women and girls, Nadipour considered the removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women as a factor for depriving Iranian women of the opportunity to participate and learn from this international forum.

The Iranian ambassador pointed out that the decision to remove the membership of an elected member from the commission was not due to real concern for the rights of Iranian women and girls, but was another attempt to put pressure on a country that pursues its independent policies.

She also said that over many years, Iranian women have taken great steps to improve their status and livelihood in the society, to achieve their rights and empowerment and in these years, many laws and measures have helped them in this matter.

Nadipour considered the reaction of these governments to be political, and called them indifferent to the sufferings of Iranian women in recent years.

Addressing the female foreign ministers, she said, “What I and my compatriots expect from you and other foreign ministers is to avoid the double standards applied against my country, including its female population, and allow us to use all our capacities and potential to improve our situation.”

He noted, “As part of a dynamic and lively, active, educated and stable society, Iranian women have used every opportunity to assert their rights, including equal opportunities and social freedoms. They will undoubtedly strive hand in glove with their countrymen to achieve their rights as best as possible and achieve more in the direction of self-improvement and prosperity of their country.”

Earlier, a group of Iranian female lawmakers had reacted to the removal of Iran from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), saying the move was “completely political” and “cruel.”

The Iranian parliament’s Committee of Women issued a statement in which they accused the Western countries of violating the rights of women. 

“While Western countries have been claiming to defend women's rights, according to statistics and international reports, they are the biggest violators of women's rights. These countries, in a completely political move and in the name of defending women's rights, ended the membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Commission of the Status of Women,” the statement said. 

It continued, “This is while the status of women in Iran has improved in various areas according to the statistics, especially in the field of education and health, we see a significant and positive situation.”

The statement said, “Canceling Iran's membership in the Commission on the Status of Women, which was done outside of the rules and with a completely political behavior by America and European countries, which themselves play the biggest role in the exploitation of women and their commodification, is a heretical and cruel move.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani also described the adoption of America’s non-consensual resolution against Iran at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a political scheme that lacks legal credibility, runs counter to the UN Charter and sets the wrong precedent in the international body.

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