Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki Holds Muslim Prayer in UN Human Rights Council, Condemns ‘Zionist Regime’
On March 4, 2008, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, host of last year’s Holocaust denial conference in Tehran, was invited to address the UN Human Rights Council’s main annual session. Taking the podium, he condemned “the Zionist regime” and requested a minute of silence. “I ask my Muslim brothers and sisters to read the fatah for those martyrs in Gaza,” referring to the opening verse in the Quran. Later, Iranian representative Asadollah Eshragh Jahromi insisted that Tehran “is fully committed to its internationally accepted obligations in the field of human rights, and spares no efforts to promote and protect all human rights for all.”
UN Watch Chair Alfred H. Moses took the floor during a subsequent plenary meeting to expose Iran’s gross violations of international human rights, particularly its policy and practice of beating peaceful women’s rights activists. See full video and text below.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki UN Watch Chair Alfred H. Moses
UN Watch Takes on Iran for Assaulting Peaceful Women’s Rights Activists
Interactive Dialogue with Yakin Ertürk
Statement to UN Human Rights Council, March 12, 2008
Delivered by UN Watch Chair Alfred H. Moses
Thank you, Mr. President.
Madame Rapporteur Erturk, UN Watch thanks you for your report and for your valuable work in addressing violence against women, as well as its causes and consequences.
In Addendum 1 of your report, you described your urgent appeals to Iran (see pages 54-64), concerning its arrests and beatings of women.
You appealed to Iran after its arrest of 31 women in March 2007, whose crime was peacefully demonstrating against the prosecution of fellow women activists. Police officers broke the teeth of Ms. N. J. by banging her head against the door of a police bus. Iran has failed to give you any response.
You also appealed to Iran following the conviction by the Tehran Revolutionary Court of Ms. Delaram Ali, for the crimes of “Propaganda against the System” and “Disturbing Public Order.” What did she do? On June 12, 2006, she peacefully demonstrated for the removal of Iranian laws that discriminate against women. Ms. Declaram Ali was sentenced to ten lashes and jail for more than two years. Iran has failed to respond to your appeal. Its only answer has been silence.
In light of Iran’s systematic failure to respond to your urgent appeals, what further action will you take to protect Iranian women activists from beatings by their government? Will you make a country visit to Iran?
Finally, when Foreign Minister Mottaki met High Commissioner Arbour during this session, can you tell us whether these crimes were discussed, and if so, did Minister Mottaki agree that Iran would stop abusing women?
Thank you, Mr. President.