Left Behind By Iranian Delegation in Geneva, Larijani Attacks the UN from Tehran
A leading Iranian official held a press conference in Tehran today attacking the UN Human Rights Council, the Secretary General, and the Special Rapporteur for their reports on cases of violations of human rights in Iran.
Meanwhile, members of the Iranian delegation in Geneva and supporting NGOs spoke to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about the politicization of human rights within Iranian leadership.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights Council, told reporters in Iran that the consecutive reports issued by the UN regarding the Islamic Republic’s human rights records are propaganda tools used by the country’s enemies. The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is preparing to vote on whether to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran late next week.
Without addressing any specific points raised in the reports presented by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon last week or by Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed this week, Larijani said, “The allegations against Iran posed as reports [on the situation of] human rights in Iran have professional problems and are a big scandal; because first of all our regime has been explicitly insulted. It appears the norm for being human is what the Westerners must like.” He added, “Such reports are in fact media tricks which indicate anger against our achievements. We assertively confront these reports as we have confronted them since the first year of the [Islamic] Revolution.”
Since his 2011 appointment, Shaheed has asked the Iranian government repeatedly to allow him to visit the country, but Iranian officials have not granted him permission. In a report published on the website of Javad Larijani’s organization, reporting on the same March 18 press conference, Ahmed Shaheed is directly targeted about his request to visit the country.
“Ahmed Shaheed regularly complains about why we do not allow him to come to Iran, while he has raised about 3,000 accusations against Iran from outside the country (without visiting Iran)…. His visit to Iran is not meant to be for verification purposes, but for propaganda; how does he want to study 3,000 allegations in just three days (of a trip)?” a report on the website of Iran’s High Council of Human Rights, quotes Mohammad Javad Larijani saying.
“In relevant remarks in January, Larijani blasted Shaheed for his support for the terrorist groups acting against Tehran, and said the UN rapporteur has turned into an actor providing service for the opposition media. ‘Unfortunately, Ahmed Shaheed has become a media actor who acts for those media which air propaganda against the Islamic Republic, while this is against the approved protocols,’ Larijani told FNA at the time,” Larijani’s organization reports.
Addressing the issue of the surge in the number of executions in Iran, Larijani told reporters, “More than 80% of our executions are drug-related and a lower percentage are related to Qisas [retribution law] and terrorist crimes.” In their reports, the UN bodies and the Special Rapporteur have repeatedly stated that according to international law, capital punishment must be reserved only for cases of “most serious crimes,” and drug-related crimes do not meet the standards for “most serious crimes.”
Reporters asked Mohammad Javad Larijani about news regarding the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s dialogue with the West over the issue of human rights in Iran. He defined the Iranian Intelligence and Foreign Ministries as “our arms.” Asked whether it would be better for the Foreign Ministry to pursue the discussion surrounding human rights, Larijani said, “The Foreign Ministry has been and is responsible for advancing human rights diplomacy. But human rights is a national issue; 90% of the Western attacks have to do with the country’s judicial system, and the other part has to do with our security system, therefore we do not accept ‘all or nothing.’ We do not have parallel organizations for our diplomacy, but decision-making is a national issue and the Foreign Ministry enforces the national decisions.”
A member of the Iranian delegation at this week’s Human Rights Council told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, “Many members of the Iranian delegation are happy that Javad Larijani is not presenting the Iranian Government’s response at the meeting.” The Iranian delegation member added, “His bad language and reactions have isolated Iran at the Human Rights Council further and further.”
The Iranian delegation member also told the Campaign that there is a fierce difference of opinion between the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the Judiciary about how to respond to the international community’s questions about the situation of human rights in Iran. “The Judiciary prepares the draft for all the responses. They are the ones who have access to the cases; the Foreign Ministry has a lot of limitations for influencing Iran’s responses. But we can see that over the past six months Iranian officials in Geneva and New York have met with Ahmed Shaheed and the meetings continue despite Mr. Larijani’s personal insults against the Special Rapporteur,” said the delegation member.
A member of an NGO accompanying the Iranian delegation also told the Campaign that Javad Larijani is responsible for politicizing the Iranian human rights dossier. “Javad Larijani acts as if there are no problems at the Judiciary, and this in itself has led to the politicization of the Iranian human rights dossier. There are corrupt, uninformed, or untrained judges in every country. Every country’s judicial system needs continuing education and it is also in need for being monitored by NGOs. We are unable to criticize the judicial system in Iran, because our names will end up in Ahmed Shaheed’s reports after we are arrested. There is no space for criticism. But international organizations and other governments don’t have these limitations,” said the NGO member.
Javad Larijani said on March 4 that Iran’s increased execution rate is a positive marker of Iranian achievement. Instead of criticizing Iran for its increasing number of executions, he said, “Our expectation of international organizations and the world is to be grateful for this great service to humanity.” During the current session of the UN Human Rights Council, this statement has been repeatedly quoted by member states and NGOs as they express outrage over Iran’s reactions to international concerns.