Hillel Neuer

UN rewards for Tehran regime insult its victims

ANALYSIS: The growing anger of Iran's election to the UN General Assembly’s Committee on Disarmament and International Security


2GNCCYG New York, USA. 24th Sep, 2021. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the 76th General Debate of the UN General Assembly at United Nations (UN) Headquarters. The 76th General Debate of the UN General Assembly is taking place this week. Some 80 heads of state and government are taking part. Steinmeier is the first German President to address the UN General Assembly in almost 40 years. The first and so far only Federal President to appear before the UN body was President Carstens in 1983. Credit: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa/Alamy Live News

June 07, 2023 13:17

Irony died at the United Nations a long time ago, but now the Islamic Republic of Iran is dancing on its grave. See the recent news that Tehran — which is escalating its nuclear weapons programme while fomenting terrorism across the Middle East and worldwide — was elected by acclamation to the UN General Assembly’s Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

The stated purpose of this UN body is to promote disarmament, deal with threats to international peace, and work towards a safer world. Yet Ayatollah Khamanei’s fanatical regime perpetuates the very problems the committee aims to address.

The Shiite Iranian theocracy and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps play a destabilising role in the Middle East and worldwide, arming mass murderers and terrorists such as the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Iran is also a key player behind Russia’s war against Ukraine, supplying at least 400 armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia — in violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231 — that are used to target critical infrastructure like water and electric utilities, and to murder civilians.

Iran’s illicit nuclear programme, including ballistic missile tests and proliferation activities, amount to ever further violations of that Security Council resolution.

Diplomats need to understand that putting Tehran in a leadership position at a committee charged with disarmament and security only undermines the legitimacy of its work, and casts a shadow upon the UN as a whole. It’s like asking the fox to guard the chickens.

Worryingly, the mullahs keep notching up one propaganda victory after another at the UN. In the past month alone, the regime was appointed Chair of the UN Human Rights Council’s Social Forum, which convenes in November, and elected a vice-president of the UN General Assembly.

How can the UN reward criminals who poison schoolgirls, blind protesters, fire on mourners, rape political prisoners, sponsor terrorism, and operate a global campaign to assassinate dissidents, authors and foreign officials who dare to oppose them? It’s obscene.

To date, however, only a handful have spoken out on these absurd elections, including the United States and Israel, Iranian diaspora groups, and activist and Lord of the Rings actress Nazanin Boniadi. I haven’t heard a single European state utter a word of objection.

For us at UN Watch, a human rights group in Geneva, we can't stop every such outrage: there are simply too many. But we are working now to overturn Iran’s appointment to the UN human rights position. Our petition has surpassed 80,000 signatures, and we will write to world leaders when it reaches 100,000.

In tandem, we have just submitted to the UN the text for a draft resolution to strip Tehran of its chairmanship. It requires a country to sponsor and introduce it.

We now call on all nations committed to upholding fundamental human rights and dignity to take the necessary action to show the Iranian people that they are not forgotten, and that these relentless UN insults to the victims of the barbaric Tehran regime will not be met with silence and complicity.

Hillel C. Neuer is executive director of UN Watch, an independent non-governmental human rights group in Geneva

June 07, 2023 13:17

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