| 9 December 2023, Saturday |

United States to put United Nations focus on Iran protests

The Iranian protests that were triggered by the murder of a young lady in police custody will be the focus of the United Nations next week as the US looks for ways to support genuine, independent investigations into Iranian human rights violations.

A paper outlining the event, seen by Reuters, states that the US and Albania will hold a non-formal U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday. Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian campaigner and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and Nazanin Boniadi, an actress, are scheduled to speak.

“The meeting will highlight the ongoing repression of women and girls and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iran,” the note said. “It will identify opportunities to promote credible, independent investigations into the Iranian government’s human rights violations and abuses.”

Independent U.N. investigator on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, is also due to address the meeting, which can be attended by other U.N. member states and rights groups.


Iran has been gripped by protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody last month. The unrest has turned into a popular revolt by Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.

Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their agents for the unrest.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York accused the United States and it allies of abusing their platform “to further their political agenda.”

“Given its hypocrisy, use of a double standard, and selective application of human rights, we find the U.S.’s claims to support Iranian women to be deceptive and lacking in good faith,” it said.

Rights groups have said at least 250 protesters have been killed and thousands arrested across the country. Women have played a prominent part in the protests, removing and burning veils. The deaths of several teenage girls reportedly killed during protests have fuelled more anger.

“The meeting will underscore ongoing unlawful use of force against protesters and the Iranian regime’s pursuit of human rights defenders and dissidents abroad to abduct or assassinate them in contravention of international law,” read the note about the planned meeting.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Friday urged the Iranian authorities to address the “legitimate grievances of the population, including with respect to women’s rights.”

“We condemn all incidents that have resulted in death or serious injury to protestors and reiterate that security forces must avoid all unnecessary or disproportionate use of force against peaceful protestors,” Dujarric told reporters. “Those responsible must be held to account.”

  • Reuters