30th October 2013
Statement by the Islamic Republic of Iran
On the Report of the Secretary General on the situation of
” human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran document:(A/ 68/377)”
before the Third Committee of the 68th Session of the General Assembly
New York, 30th October 2013
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been enthusiastically makes utmost efforts to promote and protect all human rights and the fundamental freedoms of its people, in order to create a prosperous society based on human dignity, justice, peace, moderation, equality, non-discrimination, sustainable development as well as order and responsibility.
After the 11th presidential election, held in an open, free, fair, transparent and democratic way, the Islamic Republic of Iran has entered into a new stage of democracy and the rule of law. This is a conclusion that would be naturally drawn by any impartial observer. The people and the government of Iran try to build on the momentum created by this election to adopt a new and constructive approach by all relevant parties based on cooperation and dialogue for the promotion and protection of all human rights inside and outside the country.
In this context, we insist that an impartial, balanced and non-political approach be taken by the international community including the United Nations human rights mechanism that factually and realistically considers the human rights developments in the Iranian society, which is in many aspects distinctive and democratic. This is a demand that our people and the Government seek to realize.
My country has taken a long term approach and genuine measures to safeguard all human rights of its people including through ensuring compliance with all its commitments under international law, with due regard to the principles enshrined in its Constitution.
In this vein, we maintain that a biased approach towards human rights erodes the credibility and legitimacy of the United Nation’s human rights mechanisms and undermines the capacity of states for genuine promotion and protection of human rights at national level. We are of the view that this approach applied to the Secretary General Report, now before the Committee, on which the Islamic Republic of Iran would like to make the following comments and observations:
– Iran’s human rights point of view emphasizes the significance of an interactive, constructive, and cooperative approach in promotion and protection of all human rights, , while avoiding confrontation, selectivity, double standards and politicization.
-The Secretary General was mandated by resolution 67/182 to present a report on the situation of human rights in my country to the current session of the GA. However, we reiterate that in view of the fact that the Resolution is the outcome of an unfair, selective, and biased motion of one specific country and continues to undermine the credibility of the United Nations in particular its mechanisms on human rights and an democratic and equitable international order. Moreover, tabling the country specific resolution for political bilateral reasons, runs counter to the Iranian people’s will and steadily ignores the existing objective realities in the Iranian society.
-As it has been addressed adequately in our responses to the four previous reports of the Secretary General, despite the effective cooperation of Iran, its expression of readiness to provide all the necessary information for preparation of a fair, and non-selective report and its preparedness to help with clarification of cases raised in the Report, in practice, the reaction was far from our expectation.
-Moreover, my country has always placed high priority to expanding cooperation and interaction with the United Nations human rights mechanisms and provided documented and convincing responses to correspondents received from them. Moreover, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always reiterated its readiness to professionally answer the inquiries from international bodies.
We have taken note of a positive reference in the Report regarding the last presidential election in Iran held on 14 June 2013 during which 72.2 percent of 50 million eligible voters cast their ballots. The SG in the Report, welcomed the reported overwhelming turnout, and has referred to it as “marking a positive sign of dynamism in Iran’s civil and political life”. At the same time, we expected that the Report would include the very important achievements as well as serious challenges that the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran had faced during the past year.
As an example, I would like to raise the issue of unilaterally and exterritorialy imposed sanctions against my country. As we know axiomatically, sanctions always have negative impacts on the ordinary people and are against all internationally recognized human rights norms and standards. They are in clear contradiction to several articles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in particular articles 22 to 26 as well as the provisions of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
These sanctions violate all human rights, including the right to peace, right to development, right to access to health and education, and above all, the right to life and are causing human suffering and are inconsistent with the provisions of international human rights law and the objectives and principles of the UN Charter. Therefore, it was our expectations that Report should have condemned unilateral and extraterritorial sanctions imposed by the U.S and EU against people of Iran as a vivid violation of their human rights.
We would emphasize that the provisions of the Report vis-à-vis these sanctions and their adverse impacts on the lives of the Iranians suffers from deep ambiguity. Most regrettably, the Report puts no responsibility on the shoulder of the imposer of illegal and illegitimate unilateral sanctions and makes no request for removing them and unfortunately, under the recommendations, the Secretary General only suggests a visit by thematic Rapporteures to examine the impacts of the sanctions.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, despite the aforesaid facts, my country would like to once again reiterate that the United Nations human rights machinery is an important tool in promoting all human rights, provided that it is purely professional and free from political bias. Iran is firmly committed towards the promotion and protection of human rights and seeks constructive engagement with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, including the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights and thematic special procedures of the HRC as well as the UPR.