Iran Committed to Human Rights Promotion, Protection: Envoy
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations highlighted the country’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, saying the Iranian people’s voice through ballot boxes has decided the country’s overall policies over the past four decades.
Addressing a meeting of the Third Committee in the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Eshaq Al-e-Habib explicated Iran’s policies on human right and democracy.
What follows in the full text of his speech before action on draft resolution A/C.3/73/L.42:
During a century-long struggle of Iranians for the causes of human rights and democracy, the same destructive forces behind the resolution that the Committee is going to act upon, have done everything in their power to suppress or derail them. Orchestrating a military coup in 1953 against a democratically-elected government, unconditionally supporting a despotic ruler for the following two and half decades, supporting a war of aggression against Iranians during the 1980s, providing chemical weapons and reconnaissance to Saddam to target Iranians, shutting down an Iranian passenger flight murdering all of its 290 passengers, colluding with renowned terrorist cults, and waging a full-fledged economic war against Iranians in defiance of the Security Council resolution 2231 and the mandatory ruling of the International Court of Justice are only a few examples to recall. In fact, not a single day has passed since 1953 in which the same forces have not harmed and tortured Iranians.
Actually, human rights and democracy have no greater adversaries than those who conveniently abuse them against the nations and governments they dislike. For these few, a rigid dichotomy exists on the issues related to human rights.
For them, victims are not simply equal. They are either good or bad. While, the murder of peaceful political opponents can be condoned, a murderer who intentionally run a bus over police officers in the streets of Tehran and as a result kills several of them, deserves to be openly glorified by the US Secretary of State. Imagine what the same person would have been called if he dared to commit the same crime on US soil. In fact, people victimized by them or their allies are unworthy of attention; such politically inconvenient victims can be ignored. Meanwhile anyone in defiance of enemy states deserves glorification as “human rights activist” no matter what. Even a vicious terrorist cult (in our case the People’s Mujahedin of Iran-MEK) can cozy up to the highest political figures in Washington in order to pressurize Iran.
In the meantime, the same hypocrites victimized civilians at a scale tantamount to genocide. Unilateral sanctions of mass destruction have caused death of more civilians around the world than all of the WMDs put together throughout history. A large fraction of those killed were children. As these deaths are the result of their policies, the victims are, therefore, unworthy of attention. On 7 November 2018, the US Secretary of State in an interview shamelessly threatens all Iranians to mass starvation. He said “well, remember, just so you remember, the leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat.” Weaponizing food and medicine against civilians has no other designation but crime against humanity. Yes, crime against humanity. Apparently, for self-proclaimed champions of human rights to reach their political objectives even a whole nation can be murdered.
A relevant and instructive case relates to the cowardly terrorist attack in the city of Ahvaz on 22 September 2018 during which dozens of innocent people, including children, were killed. A separatist group which resides outside of Iran immediately took responsibility for the attack that was strongly condemned by the Security Council as a terrorist attack. What was the reaction of the sponsors of the present resolution? In a reprehensible move, the name of the city, Ahvaz, and later the name of the terrorist group itself was added as a minority to the resolution! Such a move only suggests protection for and recognition of a terrorist group under the disguise of a human rights resolution. Though it sounds very disturbing, we were not surprised by this disgraceful treatment of the victims of terrorism on the streets of Ahvaz. They were not worthy of attention for the sponsors of this resolution, while, the perpetrators who killed them deserve to be referred to as “human rights activist” or “ethnic minority” in order to receive protection and recognition. It is utterly and simply shameful!
The dichotomy also applies to democracy; it can be desirable or undesirable for them. Elections can be called flawed or genuine based on the need of their foreign policy options. While people in their client countries are forever alien to ballot boxes and democracy, elections in enemy states are considered rigged and illegitimate because the votes of the people do not reflect their foreign policy interests and priorities.
For these self-righteous preachers a dichotomy also exists in relation to that voices that should be heard or disregarded. The voices of the few who vandalized the streets in Iran and attacked police stations deserve to be heard and even be brought to the attention of the Security Council, while muzzling the voices of dissidents in client states raises no eyebrows. Even worse, these hypocrites become intentionally oblivious when it comes to the crushing suffering of millions of peoples living for more than seven decades under foreign occupation in Palestine. Preferred voices are those that are useful to their foreign policy. However, there is little appetite in them to hear the voices of the children in cages or the victims of the Iranian civil airliner shut down by the US Navy in the Persian Gulf. Victims of that barbaric attack committed in support of then US ally Saddam, including dozens of children never found the opportunity to ask about their human rights from the US officials or the Commander of the Navy who was shamelessly decorated by Washington for committing such horrible crime.
For these smug preachers, independence and sovereignty are also exclusively reserved for the powerful. For them, interference is fine as long as it is conducted by the powerful and their henchmen. The US has long interfered in the democratic processes in our country not in support of it but to throw it off the course and to reinstall tyranny. Even today, the main ally of the US against democracy in Iran is a renowned terror cult. Even today, the US is the worst enemy of democracy and human rights in the entire Middle East including Iran.
On the same track, civil society voices should be heard and promoted provided that they work against the governments that they dislike. They are self-entitled to abuse civil society, including through fabricating them and lavishly funding them to be at the service of their foreign policy objectives. Otherwise, they should be silenced. US regularly blocks Iranian NGOs consultative status in the UN, while pushed even to a vote in ECOSOC for an anti-Iranian entity created and continues to be funded by the US State Department. It should sound quite instructive.
Freedom of speech and expression is another front. Freedom of speech should be protected as long as the interests of the US and clients are ensured. Otherwise, they should be labeled as threats to national security and should be silenced. In August 2018, hundreds of official accounts belonging to Iranians were closed by social media platforms under the US administration’s pressure. Why? Because they dared to expose Israel. While thousands of fake anti-Iranian accounts and robots are freely pumping hate and false news, they dared to discuss Israel’s atrocities in Palestine. What an unforgivable crime!
In the meantime, undoing encryption by internet companies for western governments is a legitimate move to protect their national security while the attempt of the independent states to prevent terrorists and saboteurs from abusing social media networks is labeled by the same countries as an intrusion into the right to privacy!
Inconsistency and double standards in the behaviors of the main proponents of this draft resolution are not limited to the above-mentioned. Their foreign policy is run on hypocrisy by default.
Canada is a clear case in which democracy has been hijacked by proponents of racism and of apartheid. Based on the assessment of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women in 2018, violence against women in Canada remains a "serious pervasive and systematic problem." She specifies that "indigenous women from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities are overtly disadvantaged within their societies and in the larger national scheme". She adds that "indigenous women face marginalization, exclusion and poverty because of institutional, systemic, multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination that has not been addressed adequately by the State." Meanwhile, observing Canada’s voting records in the UN when it comes to Israeli policies, which are in absolute contravention with the basic principles of human rights, is eye-opening and self-exposing. One resolution after another, year after year, occasion after another in New York and in Geneva the voting boards indicate Canada as the unconditional supporter of Israel in its egregious violations of human rights. Apparently, for Canada and its foreign policy, the destiny of millions of the victims of Israeli aggression is unworthy of attention while the violator deserves protection, impunity and unqualified support. Canada insists on this futile resolution notwithstanding the fact that Israel, the last apartheid regime of the world, is one of its constant co-sponsors. Canada, where as saying goes, simply being indigenous and female is a risk; Canada, where the destiny of thousands of its disappeared indigenous women remains a mystery; Canada, where victims of forced sterilization of indigenous women and persons with disabilities still endure the anguish; Canada, where has recently become a safe-haven for assets derived from corruption and embezzlement from countries like Iran; Canada, whose arms exports are responsible for death and destruction in conflict zones around the world; and Canada who has gone to the extent of exterminating members of its indigenous First Nations, lectures Iran a country that during its very long history, has never practiced slavery, never colonized other nations, never uprooted indigenous communities, and has never advocated for racial supremacy. Therefore, it sounds absurd that Canada and a few others who have recorded all of these dark atrocities in their very short history find the audacity to preach Iran on human rights.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is proud to rely on its people as the only guarantor of its security and development. The legitimacy and security of the Islamic Republic of Iran stems from the voice and vote of its people. Iran’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights is inherent, genuine and deeply rooted in the country’s cultural and historical backgrounds. Having survived and prospered despite the unprecedented active hostility of the most powerful countries for four decades, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran fully appreciates that the promotion of the human rights of its citizens is not simply a legal and moral responsibility, but a paramount requirement of national security. During the last four decades, the people’s voice, expressed through ballots, has decided the country’s overall policies in both internal and foreign affairs. Regardless of the challenges, Iranians will never give up their enthusiasm for human rights, their dreams for democracy, and, certainly, will never give up their quest for dignity.
We have proved that human rights is our own priority, it is part and parcel of our national security priority. Similar to any other country, deficiencies may exist, and we are determined to address them. However, it is not for those who traditionally, historically and practically supported colonialism, slavery, racism and apartheid to lecture Iranians on human rights.
Year after year, this resolution, this political charade exposes the dishonesty of its sponsors and further reveals how selective, irrelevant and subjective UN decisions could become to the realities on the ground. Collecting votes by the main sponsors of the resolution, who wage a vigorous campaign of pressure and intimidation each year, should be viewed as another clear assault to the cause of human rights. Reaping votes by threatening cuts in financial or development funds would not contribute in the promotion of human rights. Rather, it further exposes the dishonesty of these self-assured champions of human rights. You may have already decided how to vote, but please remember that rejecting and voting NO to this futile resolution will be considered a right step towards the protection and promotion of human rights. Please remember that unlike those few who have historically abused human rights as instruments in their foreign policy toolbox, Iran continues to earnestly believe in dialogue based on mutual understanding, cooperation and respect.
I thank you.