19 November 2013

Statement by H. E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative

of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

on Draft Resolution L.57

“Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran”

New York, 19th  November 2013

بسم الله

In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Colleagues,

Allow me, Mr. Chairman, to begin by expressing outrage against the barbaric terrorist attack in Beirut, which occurred today in an area close to the Iranian Embassy, and led to the death of dozens and serious injury of close to 150 innocent Lebanese and Iranian people. Here I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Lebanon and the families of our colleagues in the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. This is, indeed, another case in which my country and my people have been targeted mercilessly. Iranian people have been targeted in many and different ways, including, imposed war, assassination of people, scientists, bombing Holy and official places, sanctions as well as tabling country resolution against them in various occasions. What happened today in Beirut, reminds all of us once more about the pressing need to come together and coordinate in the face of extremism, violence and terrorism, which are ravaging parts of our region.

Mr. Chairman,

The Third Committee is once again about to take action on the draft resolution that targets Iran.The first question about this country resolution on Iran tabled by Canada is whether or not this approach has been able to create an environment conducive to promotion and protection of human rights? Or, rather, it had been a tool in the hands of its initiator to further its narrow political objectives?

This resolution has so far failed to achieve any lofty goal in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, due mainly to the loss of credibility, legitimacy and fairness as a result of the hidden agenda that its mover seeks. In reality, the resolution has never been supported by a respectable number of UN member states.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates,

Building on these opening remarks, I deem it necessary to briefly touch upon some landmark developments that have recently taken place in my country with significant effects on a variety of political, economic and social issues at home and important impact on foreign relations; developments that have been either totally ignored or intentionally misrepresented by the drafter of the resolution.

The election held on June 14th this year, in what many international observers, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, referred to as a clear demonstration of democratic values by one of the world oldest civilizations and a sign of political dynamism of Iranian society.

In fact, the recent presidential election in Iran represents a vivid example of the realization of democracy consistent with divine and religious values. This important event has its root in the firm belief of the Iranian people and Government to rely on the ballot boxes as the basis of power and legitimacy. At the same time, these long-term and prevailing trends should not be disregarded by any international mechanisms, which deal with the evaluation of human rights in Iran.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Colleagues,

Turning to the draft itself, I would like to reflect on several aspects of the draft resolution on Iran and the incentives that shaped the Canadian decision to introduce it. The following are prominent among them:

1-We could not believe that Canadian Government has more altruistic sentiments towards Iranians than the Iranians themselves, Canada has turned a bilateral dispute into a claim against the situation of human rights in Iran. In the absence of any representation in Iran and, thus, alien to the factual situation on the ground, the Canadian text is replete with fictions and devoid of facts. Clearly, isolated human rights cases could not and should not provide any ground for submitting a country resolution to the GA.

2- In reality, the claim by Canada as the main sponsor of this draft resolution on human rights advocacy has proven to be a myth, as they have, on numerous occasions, put on display their fully politicized approach to human rights issues. In fact, Canada itself has horrifying records in violating the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities at home as well as a double standard policy abroad. Moreover, the Canadian Government has deprived hundreds of thousands of Iranians living in Canada, including Iranian-Canadians, and their family members of consular services, following its abrupt diplomatic rapture. This is a clear violation of the human rights of the Iranian people.

It is also noteworthy that the sponsor of the draft resolution before this Committee today is the one who condones and even supports the gross violation of the most basic human rights of the Palestinians people by the Israeli regime. More ironic, the Israeli regime, with an appalling and an unspeakable record of war crimes and grave systemic and systematic violation of human rights, is among the co-sponsors of the draft.

3- Regardless of overall political agenda of the main sponsor, which exhibits itself in its selective, partial and counter-productive approach to country resolution mechanism, the content of the resolution resembles a catalogue of poorly resourced and outdated allegations projected with exaggeration. Therefore, we have never expected to receive a balanced and impartial text because the overt and covert influences of that approach.

4- The Drafter of the resolution has fully brushed off Iran’s enormous advancements; especially its distinctive democratic nature and the high presence of Iranian women in all walks of the society’s life which is unparalleled in the region.The bitter fact is that the draft resolution does not pay attention to the unilateral and extra- territorial sanctions imposed against the Iranian people. The worst is that the main sponsors and co-sponsors of the draft are those who imposed unilateral, severe sanctions against Iranian people, which is a clear violation of human rights law.

5- Clearly, the analysis and comments, contained in the draft, about the country’s electoral process is very shallow and ignores the last presidential election in Iran held on 14 June 2013 during, which about 73 percent of 50 million eligible voters cast their ballots.

6- Apparently, instead of evaluating the elections process, the draft resolution has been more interested in taking political positions. Equally, the drafter seems less interested in the provision of the rights of individuals and more interested in passing judgments, including by trying to portray the election as questionable.

7- The plentiful of unsubstantiated allegations against my country are generously included in the text, whereas positive human rights developments with negative connotations are implicitly mentioned. Therefore, the report before us falls short of the minimum standards of fairness and impartiality.

8- Against all impartial conclusions by the independent observers on the democratic and fair nature of the Eleventh presidential election in Iran as well as the constructive approach of new government towards cooperation and dialogue towards the promotion and protection of human rights and despite major steps which have been taken by new government in the field of human rights, Canada deliberately overlooks all these developments to satiate its internal politics and has drafted L.57 even in a harsher and more negative way.

9- Contrary to established practice, the resolution gives redundant mandate to the Secretary General to compile and produce a parallel report, in addition to the report by Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

It seems when it comes to Iran, the drafter of the resolution purposefully disregard even its advocated criteria, rejecting duplication, redundancy and financial implications in the work in the United Nations human rights mechanisms. As a result of this double-standard policy, two similar reports with the same nature and many overlapping have been submitted to this Committee, like two other similar reports to Human Rights Council, indicating that when it comes to political considerations, principles and right procedures could simply be ignored.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Colleagues,

Iran has repeated time and again its genuine intention to conduct constructive cooperation with United Nations human rights mechanisms, including the HRC thematic mandate holders, and has continuously reported to relevant treaty bodies and found itself legally bound to implement its international obligations. In this regard, Iran defended its new periodic report on the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights last year, and in May 2013 appeared before the Committee on Social, Cultural and Economic Rights.

-Iran presented its national report to the first cycle of the UPR. Since the UPR session where the situation of human rights in my country was examined, relevant authorities undertook a collaborative approach towards realizing the accepted 123 recommendations preparing and presenting its next report to the second cycle of UPR in 2014.

-Despite our strong opposition to the resolution of the Human Rights Council, which created the mandate of the special rapporteur, upon receiving queries from the Secretary General and the special rapporteur, Iran promptly prepared reliable and detailed response and submitted comprehensive comments on the said reports.

-To enhance and increase current cooperation, my Government extended an invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to pay a visit to Iran. We have already received the preparatory delegation to finalize required administrative arrangements for the High Commissioner’s visit.

-The protection and enhancement of the rights of minorities is a part of national policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. All Iranian ethnic groups are fairly represented and actively participating in all political, electoral and local – national decision making activities, including through their own local language media.

-The new President has mandated a Committee under supervision of the Vice- President for Legal Affairs to draft a “Charter of Citizenship Rights” as a top priority for the new Government of Iran within its first one hundred days in office. Furthermore, with prompt intervention of the new government all legal complaints filed by the former Executive Branch against journalists were withdrawn. On the other hand, the position of adviser to the President on women and Family Affairs was upgraded to Vice- President and cabinet level, and two other prominent lady social figures, appointed as Vice-President.

Mr. Chairman,

The Islamic Republic ofIran has taken a long term approach and genuine measures to safeguard all human rights of its people, including through ensuring compliance with all its relevant international human rights commitments, taking into account principles enshrined in the Iranian Constitution. Furthermore, by constructively engaging in human rights processes at various national, regional and international levels, the Islamic Republic of Iran has consecutively manifested its unwavering dedication towards the promotion and protection of all human rights worldwide.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the Canadian draft resolution against my country suffers from an impartial, balanced and non-political approach. It does not acknowledge the positive human rights developments in the Iranian society. Nor does it correspond to the realities on the ground. It runs also counter to the judicious choice of the people and government of Iran.

In view of the above, I would like to ask for a recorded vote on the draft resolution L.57, in order to provide an opportunity for preserving the dignity and credibility of UN human rights mechanisms. I hope that the distinguished members of the Third Committee choose the right path by saying No to this draft resolution.

I Thank You


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