First They Took the Commission; Now They’re Coming for the Council.
UN diplomats informed Reuters that Iran intends to fill seats on the Human Rights Council’s 47-member body. The General Assembly’s annual elections for the Geneva- based Human Rights Council will be held later this year in New York. There will be 14 seats available for three-year terms beginning in January 2014.
From the Asia group, which includes the Middle East and Asia, seven countries – China, Iran, Jordan, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Vietnam – are vying for four seats, UN diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
With an unrivalled record of human rights violations, for Iran to be successful in gaining a seat on the Human Rights Council would be one of the greatest political failures of the past and present century. Iran has proven to be a country that ruthlessly murders and tortures its own people, most of the times because its ruling body is intolerant of political dissidence. To grant them a place on the Council would be tantamount to rewarding them for their three decades of gross human rights abuses, and act as betrayal to the millions of the victims and their families who have suffered the reign of the intolerant theocracy.
Iran has already been elected to sit on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, despite its appalling gender-discriminative legislation and unofficial abuse of women. The fox guards the proverbial hen-house; and now it appears that the international political community are willing to permit what would be tantamount to the head of a paedophile ring managing the world’s largest orphanage.
The objection is that this is a blatant display of double-standards and should not be accepted by anyone with even half a conscience. It is highly hypocritical for Iran to sit on the Human Rights Council, because they deceitfully claimed at the Human Rights Council’s 2010 Universal Periodic Review in Geneva to have an inspirational human rights record. What could possibly be ‘inspirational’ about raping virgin detainees on the eve of their execution – a previously recorded IRI practice - is beyond any intelligible reasoning. The IRI expresses saint-like behaviour, whilst hiding the perilous abuses of its own people under their theocratic cloak.
According to Human Rights Watch, “Iran falls far short of the most basic standards expected of Human Rights Council members and sticks out even in an overall disappointing pool of candidates in the Asia group, with deeply problematic contenders such as Vietnam, China or Saudi Arabia,”.
The Iranian-Hezbollah strategic partnership has intensified its involvement in Syria – and its complicity in crimes against humanity against the Syrian people – while Syria itself is increasingly an Iranian protectorate. In 2011, Syria attempted to run for a seat on the Council, but withdrew due to pressure from both Western and Arab states. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and rebels are locked in an increasingly sectarian civil war that has killed as many as 100,000 people, according to UN figures. For the sanctity of humanity to be preserved before it’s too late, such international pressure needs to be applied again in order to veto the terrorist-supporting and human-rights-discarding Iranian government from gaining a seat on the Council. The roots of their poison ought to be severed before the whole body of the Human Rights Council is infected.
The gross injustices and violations of human rights are enough to bring anyone's blood to boiling point. Why, then, must we allow ourselves to take a seat as if in a theatre, adopting the role of spectator? One must share information, inspiring action. One must become part of the machine that progresses towards a positive change.