TEHRAN (Press Shia) – In a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Head of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights Ali Baqeri Kani slammed the United Nations for producing “flawed” and one-sided reports on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic.
“Regardless of all the formal and substantive flaws on the issuance of the UN General Assembly political Resolution on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the current flawed and defective process, which results in nothing other than human rights abuses and distortion of the UN human rights mechanisms and politicization of the sacred concept of human rights, one should notice that according to the provisions of the Resolution A / RES / 74/167, the mandate of the Secretary-General is specifically to “report on the progress made in the implementation of the Resolution”. Therefore, from a logical point of view, this report should have considered both the positive and negative aspects of the human rights situation, and in addition to mentioning allegations of human rights violations, cases of protection and promotion of the human rights situation should have also been considered; but, unfortunately, the present report, regardless of the correctness or the falseness of the allegations and accusations contained in it, is completely focused on the negative cases and allegations, and the efforts, measures, and actions resulting in the promotion of the human rights situation in Iran are not included and have no place in it,” Baqeri Kani wrote.
Following is the full text of the letter:
In the name of God
the Compassionate, the Merciful
H. E. António Guterres,
Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Human beings in every position and rank, and with every religion and creed, and in every color and language, and everywhere in the world, enjoy inherent dignity which the Almighty God has granted to them only because of being human. After the bitter days of World War II, when some governments, because of their arrogance and power-seeking, trampled and violated the basic rights of hundreds of millions of people and slaughtered countless people, a new atmosphere was formed in international relations. In this context, the victorious states, which happened to have committed most of the war crimes, such as the use of nuclear weapons of mass destruction, considered themselves in the position of interrogating the subjugated states and subsequently sought to monopolize the tools and levers of world power; and, in this direction, spared no effort to impose the components of force and power through many international mechanisms.
These tyrants, with their load of colonial backgrounds, disguised their inhuman faces and politicized and discriminatory approach, through clever tricks, under the false guise of protecting human rights and maintaining international security, and that, this time, to impose their oppressive hegemony in the format of global mechanisms. However, during this period, documents were recognized in the international arena, which, regardless of the differences over the principles and some instances, included weak provisions on the protection of human rights, amongst which one may refer to the Charter of the United Nations (Articles 1, 55 and 56), the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 Covenants on Human Rights. But the arrogant nature and the self-serving nature of some powers did not allow independent nations to enjoy the least rights recognized in those documents, and as a cause of this very reason, the shadow of politics has never been removed from human rights, and therefore even the transformation of the politicized and selective human rights commission into the Human Rights Council, in 2006, failed to address and place at the forefronts achieve human rights, even in the most specialized human rights mechanism of the United Nations, and, yet, politics and power came to the fore, and man and his rights became spectators or toys of political games between powers.
From the point of view of any truth-seeking and justice-seeking conscience, the crime of removing the name of the Saudi regime from the blacklist of child-killing countries and lack of specifical monitoring of its performance is no less than the crime of this regime in killing innocent Yemeni children. According to international organizations, Saudi Arabia has used deadly weapons, purchased from some Western countries, to slaughter thousands of Yemeni children and adolescents in tragedies such as student bus bombings, airstrikes on homes, schools, and hospitals, and by killing one child every seven minutes (according to UNICEF), it has become the world record holder for child massacres. What is unfortunate for any free human being is that the United Nations removed Saudi Arabia from the list of children-killing countries after Saudi Arabia’s crime of killing 222 Yemeni children in 2019!
At a time when all libertarians recognize the need to replace the power-oriented view with the justice-oriented one in global relations, the Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared, with a firm determination and a long history of pride and reliance on Divine belief, to play, more than ever, its part and share in the establishment of justice, world peace and security, and in the protection of human rights and dignity, in the international arena, and, in this direction, it will spare no effort to collaborate and cooperate with various organs of the United Nations.
The rule of religious principles and foundations over all laws and regulations of the country, including over the progressive Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the political, social, economic, and cultural practices of this land, serve as the greatest guarantor of the protection of human rights in Iran. The cultural and scientific roots of the Iranian nation, along with the religious background and the spirit of independence and freedom-seeking, make Iran a country with a style and a leader in formulating the principles, foundations, indicators, and standards of human rights throughout history and in the world; to the extent that during the height of the Corona Virus and while the countries claiming human rights had sanctioned and banned the Iranian people from accessing the required equipment to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus and to fight against this disease, the Islamic Republic of Iran provided, generously, the necessary tools for the treatment of this disease, to the countries that have played and still have an effective role in sanctioning the Iranian nation, even in the field of medicine and treatment.
Religious firm faith and belief, strong cultural infrastructure, sound legal frameworks and deep-rooted social practices, as well as a belief in human rights and its protection, constitute the main pillars of individual, social and governance lifestyles in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some of the objective and tangible achievements of such a process are as follows:
– In the field of women’s rights: Increase in the employment rate and participation of more than 40% of women in the country’s economy and holding senior management positions, including as Vice-President, member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament), ambassador, judge, governor, mayor and etc.;
- In the field of the right to health: Establishment and development of 19,000 rural health- houses and 7,000 comprehensive health centers, the implementation of the “Health System Transformation Plan” and ensuring public access to health services and thus reducing the newborn infant mortality per thousand cases to 8.9 and out of every thousand pregnant mothers to less than 2 people and gaining 18th rank in the field of low mortality rate due to liver cancer, to the 10th rank in the field of low cervical cancer and …;
- In the field of poverty eradication: Monthly payment of cash subsidies to low-income families and introduction of arrangements for the implementation of subsidies plan for the purchase of basic goods, for 60 million people, poverty alleviation and development of rural and low-income areas;
- In the field of the right of access to safe drinking water: Providing 95% of the country’s population with access to safe and hygienic drinking water and 88% to sanitary sewage systems;
- In the field of the right to access to adequate food: Reduction of the deaths caused by malnutrition, to 0.25 per 100,000 people, which in comparison to the global average (3.3), the United States (0.69) and Turkey (0. 54) stands at a higher position;
– In the field of the rights of migrants and refugees: Hosting more than two million migrants and citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries; free education of about 500,000 Afghan students in Iranian schools, about 138,000 of whom are illegal- unregistered migrants requiring education, on the decree of the Supreme Leader; free education for 17,000 Afghan students at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels in universities across Iran; free health insurance coverage for more than 100,000 vulnerable and low-income people in the refugee community; health insurance coverage for all refugee children with disabilities, in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
- In the field of the rights of Minorities: Active participation of minority groups in all political, social, economic and cultural sections of the country (having a fixed quota in the Islamic Consultative Assembly).
- In the field of the freedom of expression: Approval of the law on political offense (investigation of political offenses in the presence of a jury) and its implementation after the announcement of its bylaws by the Head of the Judiciary.
- In the field of access to education: Increase in the literacy rate up to 96% and introduction of Iran as standing in the fifth rank in the world in terms of increasing graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
- In the field of access to information: Providing internet access to 42 million people and achieving the rank of 17 in the world;
- In the field of the freedom of press and media: Activities of over 150 foreign media outlets in the country, including the BBC English and Arabic, and 310 active journalists of foreign media;
- In the field of the right to fair trial: Introduction of a change in the judicial system of the country, especially within the framework of the law of “the Sixth Development Plan”, increasing accuracy and speed in providing judicial services, creating equal opportunities for access to judicial services for individuals, crime prevention and reducing the criminal population, increasing dispute settlements through arbitration and the establishment and development of arbitration bodies, the establishment of an advanced inspection system to detect failures by judges and judicial staff;
- In the field of prisoners’ rights and institutionalization of justice: Improving the situation of prisons, developing the necessary infrastructure in cooperation with non-governmental and public organizations, helping to reduce the number of criminals by ten percent, annually, through the new penal institutions such as “suspension of prosecution” or “suspension of punishment enforcement”, “postponement of verdict issuance” , “parole” and “alternatives to imprisonment”, the adoption of a recent law reducing the sentence of Ta’ziri imprisonment or the issuance of the judiciary circular, by the Head of the Judiciary, on the fight against Coronavirus, which resulted in temporary leave for more than 120,000 prisoners; amnesty and mitigation of punishments of about twelve thousand people through applying Islamic affection and within the framework of legal regulations from the beginning of 2020 to the date, and a 70% satisfaction of people with the Judiciary for its fight against corruption, according to the standard and authentic survey;
- In the field of supporting the families of prisoners: Supporting the families of prisoners through counseling and guidance, obtaining the consent of plaintiffs, cash and non-cash supports, granting occupational and vocational training facilities, introduction to support organizations and institutions; cultural, sports and educational activities and judicial follow-ups.
- In the field of protection of people’s human dignity: Dedicating more than one-third of instructions, circulars and regulations issued by the Head of the Judiciary to issues related to human rights and human dignity, including the “Instructions on the Protection of Human Dignity and Values in the Judiciary” and “Judicial Security Document”.
Those are only a part of the protection and promotion measures of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of human rights within the framework of the Constitution and ordinary laws that are compatible with international human rights law.
Now this question arises that which States, regardless of any politicized approach, truly deserve special human rights oversight?
- A government that has put the utmost effort to protect the rights of the people at the forefront of fulfilling its obligations, even in the face of the dire outbreak of the Coronavirus and the expansion of the unlawful and cruel unilateral sanctions,
- A government which in the course of the past four decades, by holding more than 40 free elections, has proved its commitment to the people’s vote and will, in practice, even in the most difficult conditions of war and the most severe attacks by organized terrorist groups,
- A government that, according to statistics, has always sought to improve the situation of women, children, elders and all other vulnerable people,
- A government that has been tolerant and patient with Western countries which sold chemical weapons to the dictator of Baghdad and prevented the UN Security Council to play its deterrent role in stopping the use of mass-destruction weapons, or
- A government that has endangered the lives of thousands of Iranian citizens or deprived them of their right to life, by enforcing unilateral and comprehensive sanctions and extending sanctions on food and medicine, or
- A government that has provided weapons of mass destruction to the aggressors and occupiers of Iran, or
- A government that has sold both chemical weapons to Saddam and prevented the Security Council from taking action to prevent the continued use of those weapons?!!
In such a situation, a country claiming human rights which has a dark history of widespread and diverse violations of the rights of its citizens, including its indigenous people, the country that even prevented the provision of consular services to the Iranians living in that country, which is considered as one of the inalienable human rights, and therefore causing ample problems for hundreds of thousands of Iranians, submitted, as yearly routine actin, a draft Resolution to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, and despite the overtaking of negative votes to positive ones, introduced Iran, in a completely politicized process, as a country whose human rights situation needs to be reviewed. Accordingly, it is clear that Your Excellency’s mission to present an annual report on the human rights situation in Iran is the product of a politicized process far from human rights motivations.
Regardless of all the formal and substantive flaws on the issuance of the UN General Assembly political Resolution on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the current flawed and defective process, which results in nothing other than human rights abuses and distortion of the UN human rights mechanisms and politicization of the sacred concept of human rights, one should notice that according to the provisions of the Resolution A / RES / 74/167, the mandate of the Secretary-General is specifically to “report on the progress made in the implementation of the Resolution”. Therefore, from a logical point of view, this report should have considered both the positive and negative aspects of the human rights situation, and in addition to mentioning allegations of human rights violations, cases of protection and promotion of the human rights situation should have also been considered; but, unfortunately, the present report, regardless of the correctness or the falseness of the allegations and accusations contained in it, is completely focused on the negative cases and allegations, and the efforts, measures and actions resulting in the promotion of the human rights situation in Iran are not included and have no place in it.
Although in the introduction of the report to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, you have stated that the report was based on the information received from “non-governmental groups”, studies show that not only the basis of the report is based on false allegations and unsubstantiated accusations of terrorist groups affiliated with the governments hostile to the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also the main text of the report is prepared on the basis of the provisions of those allegations and accusations, and wherever it has been desired, the author of the report tends to cite the official views of the Iranian side, at the end of the paragraph that lists the allegations and accusations of those groups and simply mentions the phrase “the comment of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” In other words, the report by being based on the allegations and accusations of terrorist groups and the groups hostile against the Iranian nation, has practically fallen into a kind of unfair prejudice as for the human rights situation in Iran. Therefore, the report, intentionally or unintentionally, is based on the allegations and accusations of terrorist groups and enemies of the Iranian nation, and as a consequence of such an approach, unfortunately, the report of Your Excellency has given legitimacy and affirmation to the allegations and accusations fabricated against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Responding to the allegations and allegations contained in the draft report requires inquiring from legal authorities and taking the time to gather relevant information and documentation. However, pursuant to the previous years’ practice, a very short period of time (few days) has been systematically allocated to the main party of the report, i.e. the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to verify the allegations and accusations and to provide its documented answers and comments. This procedural flaw of the report, which has seriously affected the citation, reasoning, and robustness of His Holiness’s final report, and in fact has seriously challenged and questioned the accuracy of its content, is accompanied by turning a blind eye to the many responses and comments provided by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the final report and, in fact, this gesture has practically provided the conditions for the allegations and accusations of terrorists and enemies of the Iranian nation to be, unjustly and unfairly, justified and legitimized. Undoubtedly, this one-sided approach has tarnished the position, prestige and credibility of the United Nations and its Secretary-General, rather than providing an unrealistic picture of the human rights situation in Iran.
Relying on the semantic and literal translation of a legal concept or phrase is not an appropriate approach in an international document originating from the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The reason for insisting on the literal translation of the legal concept of “Revolution Courts” in paragraph 21 of the report and providing a 100% incorrect interpretation of the legal concept of “Revolution Courts” and translating it into “revolutionary courts”, despite extensive and frequent explanations provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran, is not clear. We would like to reiterate that the word “Revolution” in the title of this type of specialized courts does not mean “revolutionary” in the sense of a revolutionary act or a temporary institution; rather, the “Revolution Courts” serve as the exclusive legal authority to deal with crimes provided for in law, including “crimes against the internal and external security of the country,” “armed action and assassination,” and “espionage”. Therefore, the Revolution Court, like the General Court, is established in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the rulings issued in the Revolution Courts, like the General courts, are monitored through appeals to the higher authorities. Arrangements are, therefore, expected to be made to avoid the reoccurrence of such an error, which indicates the intent of the report’s primary sources of information in using “literal meaning” instead of the “legal meaning”, which effectively degrades the United Nations legal status and authority.
In paragraph 7 of the report, the “knowledge of the judge”, is listed, without conducting research and study on this type of evidence of crime, as the defect of the Code of Procedure and you have raised it as one of the ” Fundamental structural and legal impediments to fair trial and due process guarantees”; However, according to Article 211 of the Islamic Penal Code, “the knowledge of the judge” is the certainty obtained from the obvious evidence of the case in the matter before him. In cases where the document and evidence of the verdict is “the knowledge of the judge”, he is obliged to explicitly state, in the verdict, the documented evidence of his knowledge. According to the Note of this Article, “items such as expert theory, site inspection, local investigations, informed statements, reports of officers and other evidence” which typically provide knowledge and information, may serve as documents for the knowledge of the judge. In any case, abstract inferential knowledge, which generally does not bring about the certainty of the judge, cannot be the criterion for issuing the verdict. Therefore, the judge’s knowledge is a definite inference, based on the clear evidence and the judge cannot issue a verdict or order on the basis of his mere personal and undocumented discretion.
Although the report calls into question, qualitatively and quantitively, some punishments in Iran, it pays no attention to Iran’s geopolitical position as a transit route for much of the world’s narcotics toward the West, especially to Europe. Iran’s location in the neighborhood of the world’s largest traditional producer of narcotics has made the planning to combat drug trafficking of strategic importance for our country. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), more than 80 percent of the world’s drug discoveries belong to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran, as the UNODC’s main policy and program partner in West Asia, and because of its tremendous efforts, has been repeatedly branded, by the Office’s executives as the flag bearer of the international fight against narcotics.
The discovery and seizure of more than 950 tons of narcotics and psychotropic substances during the past year, which has increased by 20%, compared to the previous year, has set a new and unprecedented record and achievement for the Islamic Republic of Iran, throughout the history of the Iranian fight against drug trafficking. But the unfortunate point is that since the United States and its NATO allies established a direct military presence in Afghanistan, narcotics production in Afghanistan has increased dramatically, from about 200 tons in 2001 to more than 9000 tons in the current situation. In other words, in front of the eyes of thousands of US and Western troops, narcotics production in Afghanistan has increased more than 45-fold; meaning that the Islamic Republic of Iran facing two problems in the fight against drug trafficking the root causes of both of which are the United States and its Western allies (the sponsors and co-sponsors of the Resolution). The first problem is the unbelievable increase in the volume of narcotics production in a territory where the US armed forces and other NATO members are present. The other problem is the prevention of these countries from Iran’s access to military and non-military anti-narcotics equipment for its fight against drug trafficking, through the imposition and implementation of cruel and illegal sanctions, which, due to lack of access to these facilities, the Iranian nation has been suffering extensively from the irreparable spiritual and material costs, including the martyrdom of more than 4,000 people and the disability of more than 12,000 military and law enforcement personnel.
Nevertheless, it is astonishing how the United Nations and its Secretary-General have remained silent against the illegal and cruel unilateral coercive measures of the United States and some European governments who have directly affected the supply of the equipment needed to combat drug trafficking; and their action in imposing sanctions on Iran has deprived hundreds of the Iranian people of their lives and injured thousands of soldiers.
Iranian society is a multi-ethnic society with ancient cultural and religious fusion, and the application of the title of minority to different ethnic groups, each of which is part of the population of this vast country, is inconsistent with this background. Therefore, while emphasizing the high position of ethnicities and their effective position in all national decisions and in all judicial, legislative and executive organs of the country, it should be noted that it would not comply with “justice” that under the cover of defending human rights, to ask the “justice” executing body of a country not to practice “justice” among offenders because of their affiliation to a particular ethnicity and to discriminate in the sentence.
Assigning a chapter to “dual nationals” in the report, without considering the facts and realities of individual cases, is contrary to the most obvious and basic legal and judicial principles such as the “principle of equality of persons before the law” and the “principle of non-discrimination”. In other words, this approach of the report means that the accused by being a citizen of a Western country must enjoy more rights than others. However, despite the fact that dual citizenship is not recognized in the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, having the citizenship of another country will not violate one’s right, just as it does not give him more privileges.
Interpretation of the report, in paragraph 32, on “excluding certain categories of prisoners ” from the release schemes due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and then placing human rights defenders, lawyers, dual nationals and foreign nationals, environmental activists, religious and ethnic minorities, as well as prisoners of conscience in these categories does not comply, by no means, with realities and is far from a fair approach. As it has been said many times before, Iran was the first country to grant prison furlough to a significant number of prisoners in the early days of the Coronavirus outbreak, following an initiative by the Head of the Judiciary. Knowing that the consequences of this disease could threaten the lives of many prisoners, the Judiciary took unprecedented and innovative action, as a result of which more than 120,000 prisoners, including political, security, dual national, and other prisoners, meeting the stipulated conditions and requirements set out in the law and the circulars issued by the Head of the Judiciary, were released from prison, and about a quarter of the country’s prisoners are currently on Coronavirus furlough.
The other flaw of the report is the conclusion and application of a general ruling on the basis of an incident or temporary and exceptional matter (regardless of whether the news is true or false), which is far from the expected fairness and dignity from the highest administrative official of the United Nations.
- Deduction of the violation of the rights of minorities from the detention of a few persons, regardless of their religious, ethnic or sectarian affiliation, merely for committing the crimes stipulated by law;
- Deduction of the violation of freedom of expression from temporarily restricting some access, for a few days, in order to deprive the leading perpetrators of riots of the destructive and terrorist use of ICT and the Internet, in accordance with international human rights instruments and treaties including paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in special and emergency situations and in cases where national security and public order, public morality and the rights and freedoms of others are threatened and violated (this temporary and limited restriction did not disrupt the normal course of people’s lives and did not disrupt the process of meeting their financial, banking, economic, social and news needs through cyberspace).
How is it that a number of the detainees under temporary detention, on various charges including acting against national security, were released on the basis of a decree issued by the Head of the Judiciary of March 20, 2020, within the framework of rules and regulations, and with a view to leniency and tolerance, but it but yet the report said that “no one has been released yet according to this order”?!
How is it that in the very first days of the Coronavirus outbreak and in an innovative and peerless action, more than one hundred thousand people are released from prison, on the directives of the Head of the Judiciary, but the report on the human rights situation of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that “Evaluation of applications for prison furlough has been slow”!
A balanced and impartial description and review of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran requires balanced attention to all its dimensions and aspects. An example of an unbalanced approach to the human rights situation in Iran is the allocation of only ten paragraphs (paragraphs 40 to 50) to socio-economic rights (the impact of economic challenges and sanctions on social and economic rights) out of a total of 61 paragraphs of the draft report of the Secretary-General. This happens while according to the public opinion, the main concern of the Iranian people, in the current situation, is economic issues, which are mainly inflicted by the cruel sanctions of the United States and its Western allies. In other words, more than 80 percent of His Excellency’s report is devoted to issues that do not concern 80 percent of the Iranian people. This approach raises the suspicion that terrorist groups and the groups affiliated with the governments hostile to the Iranian nation have had a significant role to play in shaping the axes and setting the subjects of the report of the UN Secretary-General.
The report speaks of the responsibility of human rights offenders and violators, while nowhere does it refer to the illegal, cruel and criminal sanctions of the US regime, as one of the most obvious examples of human rights violations and to its destructive, damaging and deadly effects and consequences, as well as the international accountability of the US regime in “violating of jus cogens” and “punishing” all Iranians through the imposition of the “indiscriminate sanctions.” As a result, threats to the lives and property of individuals and violation of their rights by sanctions imposed on all sectors of the economy, oil and gas, industry, agriculture, science and research, air and sea transport, construction, metals, finance and banking, and even food, medicine, medical and humanitarian equipment, has had no place in human rights logic of the report, and in practice, with this approach, the final decision of the main organ of the United Nations (International Court of Justice) on a provisional measure of 2018 on the complete lifting of sanctions affecting human rights, has been completely ignored and implicitly trampled. On the other hand, the complete disregard for the findings and documents of the Special Rapporteur on the Negative Effects of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights, who in his recent report referred to numerous cases of illegal, cruel and criminal sanctions imposed by the US regime’s actions against the Iranian people, including the following cases, is another clear evidence of the dominance of the political approach over the human rights and impartial essence of the report.
- Preventing Iran from using the Zoom software even during the Coronavirus outbreak,
- Prohibiting Iran from enjoying the World Bank loan even during the Coronavirus outbreak,
- Sanctions on Iranian oil tankers,
- Sanction on drug imports,
5 Sanction on pharmaceutical equipment,
- Sanction on anesthesia equipment,
- Sanction on respiratory equipment,
- Sanction on ophthalmic equipment,
- Sanction on heart disease equipment,
- Sanction on endoscopic equipment,
- Sanction on CT scan equipment,
- Sanction on dialysis machines,
- Sanction on kidney transplant devices,
- Sanction on medical equipment and diabetes control,
- Sanction on digital radiology equipment,
- Sanction on electroshock equipment,
- Sanction on laryngeal examination instruments,
- Sanction on sonography (ultrasound) equipment,
- Sanction on laboratory equipment,
- Sanction on special dressings,
- The negative impact of sanctions on the performance of hospitals during the Coronavirus outbreak,
- Sanction on all companies interacting with the INSTEX mechanism,
It is also worth mentioning that the cruel sanctions against the Iranian people, a small part of which is reflected in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the enjoyment of Human Rights, have left severe financial losses and many physical and psychological consequences. Parts of those financial and human losses and consequences are mentioned in the report of the Rapporteur are as follows:
- Lack of access by physicians to scientific information on the Coronavirus,
- Deprivation of many Iranians of the right to study in universities around the world,
- Loss of life of patients with chronic diseases due to limited access to the required medical treatment,
- Psychological torment of patients as a cause of the lack of access to medicine,
- Negative impact of sanctions on foreign nationals residing in Iran, especially Afghans,
- Violation of the rights of Iranian children due to sanctions,
- Violation of the rights of Iranian women due to sanctions
- Violation of the rights of millions of immigrants as a result of sanctions,
- Violation of the right to food due to sanctions,
- Violation of the rights of Iranian citizens by imposing sanctions on natural and legal persons.
In addition, despite the impudent open stance of the US officials and their emphasis on preventing the Islamic Republic of Iran from accessing the financial resources needed to meet the basic needs of the Iranian people, the blatant acknowledgment of the damaging effects of these sanctions on the employment and livelihood of the Iranian people, and acknowledging the attempt to strike at the Iranian people, there is much to be regretted that the Final Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, passes by this heinous crime against humanity with indifference and silence, and makes no reference to the US crimes and the damages inflicted on the Iranian people. In this context, it is appropriate to mention some of the allegations and confessions of US officials:
- “We have succeeded in raising the costs for Iran… The sanctions we have imposed are the most severe penalties … Iran’s oil exports are down by more than 2 million barrels per day, reducing Iran’s revenue from oil by more than 80 percent. This amounts to a loss of around $50 billion annually. Iran is also facing a banking crisis with roughly half of all bank loans in arrears. More than one in four young Iranians is jobless. Inflation is at 40 percent.” (Brian Hook, US Secretary of State Special Representative for Iran, January 17, 2020)1.
- “Using any means, we have taken a comprehensive approach to exert maximum economic pressure … against Iran. The president re-imposed sanctions on the largest revenue-generating sectors of the Iranian economy, including energy, finance, transportation, precious metals, aviation and automobiles. We have added more than 1,000 individuals, entities, aircraft and ships to our sanctions list … We have increased this economic pressure by targeting Iran’s most profitable institutions, the most important of which is oil sector … We have boycotted the largest petrochemical holding group in Iran, the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Company. This company, together with its designated subsidiaries, controls 40% of Iran’s total petrochemical production capacity and is responsible for 50% of Iran’s total petrochemical exports … From late April, 2018, Iran’s total trade volume has declined significantly, including its oil exports, which have declined significantly in recent months.” (Sigal Mandelker, US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, July 31, 2019)2.
- “Iran’s economy shrank by about 5 percent last year and is likely to shrink by more than 10 percent this year. We estimate that Iran’s economy could contract by up to 14 percent, plunging Iran into a deep collapse.” (Brian Hook, US Secretary of State Special Representative for Iran, October 11, 2019)3.
- “Our sanctions against the Iranian oil sector, which have been in place since May, have brought Iran’s oil exports to a level not seen since the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980. Iran’s oil exports have decreased by more than two million barrels per day, which means a reduction of more than 80% in Iran’s oil revenues. That figure costs more than $ 30 billion a year. Taking into account the other losses, this amounts to a loss of around $50 billion annually since May 2018 … Our sanctions restrict investment in Iran’s oil and gas sector, which shall have a more lasting and broader impact compared to an immediate loss of revenue from reduced exports. Upstream and downstream investments in Iran’s oil and gas sector have stalled. Foreign investors are almost completely out of Iran and billions of dollars of capital have been lost … Over time, Iran will not be able to make the investment needed to sustain long-term energy production … Decrease in energy exports has had profound secondary effects in three main areas: Iran’s economic growth, the regime’s annual budget, and its access to foreign currency.
First: economic growth; Last year, Iran’s economy contracted by about five percent … This is the sharpest one-year decline in more than 30 years. Some analysts have predicted an even stronger contraction, possibly 12 to 14 percent. This will put the economy on the brink of recession. Inflation has also risen to 40 percent, which significantly affects the prices of basic household goods. The downward trend in economic growth has had significant effects.
Second: annual budget; The unprecedented pressure on Iran’s budget is the major impact of declining exports. As a result of the huge loss of oil revenues, it is almost impossible for the regime to run a credible budget. Oil export revenues typically account for at least 30 percent of Iran’s total revenue. Our sanctions bring this figure closer to zero.
Third: Foreign currency: The reduction of the Iranian regime’s access to foreign currency is the main effect of oil exports reduction. The regime is currently working to obtain the foreign currency needed for imports, including machinery, industrial inputs and consumer goods. Prior to the re-imposition of sanctions, about 50 percent of Iran’s foreign exchange earnings relied on oil exports. Most of it came from refined petrochemicals, metals and petroleum products. All of these exports are now subject to sanctions.
In short, Iran’s exports are declining, the economy is in deep recession, the government budget is facing unprecedented pressures that it cannot overcome, and access to foreign reserves is minimal.” (Brian Hook, US Secretary of State Special Representative for Iran, December 12, 2019)4.
- “Finally, the world saw that our economic pressure was applied to cut about 80 percent of Iran’s oil revenues, and we are determined to cut the last 20 percent. As President Rouhani, himself, said, as a result of sanctions, Iran has lost about $ 200 billion in foreign revenue and investment.” (Mike Pompeo, January 13, 2020)5.
- “Iran’s exports have declined…, they are facing a massive economic contraction … their access to foreign exchange reserves has been minimized, the government budget has been reduced … we could not shut down Iran’s oil exports as long as we were in the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.”. But in a very short period of time, we collapsed the Iranian oil sector. When we withdrew from the deal in May 2018, Iran was exporting about two and profound secondary effects in three main areas: Iran’s economic growth, the regime’s annual budget, and its access to foreign currency a half million barrels of oil per day. Reuters recently showed that Iran’s exports for April were only 70,000 barrels per day … What we have done in economic aspects is unprecedented in the forty-one-year history of the Islamic Republic.” (Brian Hook, US Secretary of State Special Representative for Iran, June 16, 2020)6.
- “We shall continue to exert maximum pressure. Heavy sanctions are difficult for nations
… We are making it as difficult as possible for them to violate these sanctions” (Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State). July 15, 2020)7.
- “Now, with the sanctions we have imposed, we have reduced the revenue of the Islamic Republic of Iran by more than $ 200 billion.” (Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, August 19, 2020)8.
- “The US sanctions against Iran have been effective … I believe we have been very successful. We will continue to enforce the sanctions.” (US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, August 20, 2020)9.
- “We have collapsed Iran’s oil sector.” (Brian Hook, US Secretary of State Special Representative for Iran, August 21, 2020)10.
There is now a logical question as to why the UN Secretary-General has remained silent in the face of the “persistent and gross violation” of the rights of the Iranian people by the US regime and some European governments?
It is fortunate that the situation of a prisoner in Iran is so important to the UN Secretary-General that he devotes a paragraph (paragraph 34) of his 61-paragraph report to it, but what is not comprehendible is that, in this very report which is claimed to be in connection with “human rights”, it does not attach any value to human lives, on a large scale, and in relation to innocent people. Failure of the report to refer to the death of dozens of innocent children and hundreds of innocent patients who lost their lives as a consequence of their difficulty to access medicine and medical equipment resulting from the implementation and enforcement of cruel, illegal and criminal sanctions by the US regime, which constitutes an blatant and utter violation of the “right to life” “and the” right to health “of thousands of Iranian citizens, may not and cannot be vindicated and justified, except that, apparently from the point of view of the author of this report, children and patients affected by the sanctions are not considered, at all, as human beings, so that a small portion of the report to be devoted to expressing the violation of their most obvious, fundamental and unquestionable rights, i.e. the “right to life” and the “right to health”. However, according to the head of the Center for Disease Control and Treatment of the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education of Iran, the cruel and illegal US sanctions have posed a serious death threat to the lives of least 335 MPS patients; and according to the CEO of the Iranian Thalassemia Association, 150 thalassemia patients lost their lives in 2018 and 2019 as a result of sanctions and the lack of medicine; and according to the former president of the Iranian Hemophilia Association, the US sanctions caused disability of hundreds of patients; and according to the head of the Iranian Epidermolysis Bullosa House, at least 20 innocent butterfly disease children (EB) have lost their lives due to lack of access to medicine and the needed dressings.
Probably, the negative vote of the sponsors of the political Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly against Iran, of October 6, 2020, to the HRC Resolution on “Human Rights and Unilateral Coercive Measures” may come as no surprise, but the effort of the report to ignore the profound effects of the unilateral, illegal and cruel sanctions against the people of Iran, with the purpose of absolving the American regime and the Western executors of the sanctions from their guilt is in no way acceptable and justifiable. What leaves no doubt about the impartiality of the report, and the complete override of its political nature to human rights nature is that despite the fact that one part of the text of the Draft Report refers the “US sanctions” as the cause of the economic and social disturbance, including rising inflation and widespread unemployment, and elsewhere, the Draft Report refers, again, to the “US sanctions” as the reason and cause of the difficulties and problems of the Iranian government to successfully deal and confront with the Coronavirus outbreak, surprisingly, in the text of the Final Report, the “US cruel and illegal sanctions” have been completely removed and ignored!
Nevertheless, the omission of the role of the US regime and its illegal sanctions from Your Excellency’s final report raises the question of whether the Draft Report was submitted to the US Government in addition to the Iranian government, and whether the UN Secretary-General has any doubt about the whole world’s recognition and affirmation of the illegality of the cruel and unilateral sanctions? As a basis, the UN Secretary-General does not consider these cruel and unilateral US sanctions as being legal and legitimate; so, why is he silent in the face of such a blatant American law-breaking act that has ridiculed the United Nations and all its mechanisms?; and why, in a short period of time, the names of anti-rule-of-law and anti-humane Americans, as perpetrators of crimes against humanity and persistent and gross violators of the rights of the Iranian people, have been removed from the Final Report, bringing about the suspicion the UN Secretary-General had been advocating for imposers of sanctions alongside lawbreakers and tyrants, against the innocent Iranian nation? It has been a bitter truth that the Americans have, frequently, mistaken New York for Washington; but have the authors of the Secretary-General’s report also mistaken New York for Washington?
Obviously, making some minor corrections and removing a few false allegations in the Final Report, cannot and may not overshadow the large volume of errors and flaws in the form and content of the rest of the Report, particularly the removal of the names of violators of the rights of the Iranian people.
While emphasizing the firm will of the Islamic Republic of Iran for equal and constructive cooperation and interaction in the field of human rights, I would like to point out that the politicized, unfair, unjust and unprofessional treatment with human rights concepts and issues not only does not open a knot and does not solve the problems of human beings but also it downgrades human rights into a tool for advancing the illegitimate goals of superpowers. Countries which, themselves, violate the rights of other nations cannot represent themselves, as claimants or judges of the human rights situation, but they must be held accountable and responsible, and sit in defender’s position, for their crimes in gross and persistent violation of human rights against nations. For this purpose, it is enough to take a look at the performance of the governments claiming to protect of human rights, towards the people of Iran and other nations in the region. The United States, France, Germany, Britain, Canada, and Sweden, who have launched most human rights attacks, in the international arena, against the Islamic Republic of Iran, are, by imposing cruel, illegal, and criminal sanctions, the biggest violators of the rights of the Iranian people; are the biggest violators of the rights of the Yemeni people, by selling advanced weapons to the Saudi regime; are the biggest violators of the rights of the Palestinian people, by strategically cooperating with the Zionist regime; and, finally, are the biggest violators of the rights of the nations of the region, including Iraq and Syria, and even the people of their own countries, by supporting terrorist and Takfiri groups.
Excellency Mr. Secretary-General,
“Impartiality”, “Independence”, “Fairness” and “Justice” requires that Your Excellency’s report on the human rights situation in Iran, along with reflecting the allegations and accusations of terrorist groups and the hostile groups acting against the Iranian people, to, also, take a look at the realities of human rights in Iran and to provide measures and actions which would lay the groundwork or lead to the protection of human rights, as well as the establishment and creation of mechanisms and structures to improve the human rights situation. But, with great regret and to our surprise, the Final Report turns a blind eye to the human rights realities of Iran. For instance, there is no trace, in the Report, of the allocation of more than one-third of the instructions, directives, and circulars issued by the Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the subject of human rights, including the “Instructions for the Protection of Dignity and Human values in the Judiciary” (July 2019). In the Report, there is no reference made and no share devoted to the special financial assistance and humanitarian services of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the extensive efforts of the military and public institutions to reduce the economic and livelihood damages caused by the outbreak of Coronavirus. Although, the Judiciary is inherently concerned with people and their rights, and any defect in its mechanisms may lead to the violation of the rights of people, and thus, bring about their dissatisfaction with the judicial mechanisms, but we can state, with pride, that during the recent period of the Judicial management in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially during the period of preparation of the honorable Secretary-General’s report, public satisfaction with the functioning of the Judiciary has increased, based on credible and scientific polls, by up to 70%, which is the best evidence of the innate compliance of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the indicators and criteria of protection of the rights of people. But there is much to be regretted that the Final Report has, completely, turned, a blind eye to this human rights fact and has remained committed to the false and fabricated information provided by Terrorist groups and by the hostile groups acting against the Iranian nation. Another important point that is never taken into account in such reports is the legitimacy and acceptability of Islamic laws among the majority of the Iranians in the country, and the point is that their main demand from the authorities is the correct implementation of these laws based on the Islamic rules.
The lack of attention of Your Excellency’s report to the most important human rights issue of Iran and the region, in 2020, is astonishing. The assassination of the greatest defender of the rights of the nations of the region and the most powerful commander in the fight against terrorism, General Qassem Soleimani, an act of terrorism which, according to the report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, to the forty-fourth Session of the Human Rights Council, was considered as the violation of the three thematic areas of international law, namely “right to use of force”, “humanitarian law” and “human rights law”, was ignored in the Report. This crime had such an impact on the Iranian nation that tens of millions of Iranians came to streets, in tens of cities, for a week and mourned for the greatest savior of the people of the region, including Sunni and
Shiite Muslims and followers of other religions Christians. The honorable Secretary- General should be questioned that how one may talk about the human rights situation in Iran, but not a single word be raised about the issue which, according to the report of Ms. Agnes Callamard, was a “clear violation of the right to life under Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” and affected the entire Iranian nation and shocked and bereaved them.
In conclusion, while recalling the human rights and unchangeable human rights policy of my country in striving to “protect and promote the rights of the Iranian people at home and abroad in all political, economic and cultural dimensions” and “protect the rights of the oppressed against oppressors throughout the world” which has been the cause of political and economic attacks against this independent nation in the name of human rights, we consider the political game with the sacred concept of human rights as a betrayal against human values and ideals, the result of which is a systematic, widespread, continuous and institutionalized violation of human rights in the world. The High Council of Human Rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran, while reaffirming its preparedness for human rights cooperation with Your Excellency, away from any politicization, expects that Your Excellency, as the highest official of the United Nations, to take the necessary measures to review and rectify the destructive, non-constructive and politicized process of dealing with the issue of human rights, so that the prestige and dignity of the largest international organization, no to fall victim to the political goals and intentions of a few extravagant and arrogant powers.21-22.998.6
Please accept, Mr. Secretary-General, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Ali Bagheri Kani,
Secretary of the High Council of Human Rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran