How Can UN Welcome Rouhani Considering Iran’s Human Rights Violations?

Maryam Hejazi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Organization of Iranian American Communities-US (OIAC),wrote an op-ed for Fox News in which she criticised the UN for their decision to invite Rouhani, considering Iran’s attempts to paint any criticism of its human rights record, including the 2017 report by Asma Jahangir, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, as a “Western conspiracy to discredit the Islamic theocracy”.

She noted that the Iranian people are increasingly calling for an investigation into the Iranian Regime’s past and current human rights abuses, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners about which audio evidence was leaked last year.

Hejazi wrote: “Previous calls for international action, notably from the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), whose activists comprised the vast majority of the victims, had gone unheeded. Western powers tended to turn a blind eye, often in hopes of currying favour with supposed moderates in the Iranian regime.”

She notes that Rouhani is one of those “moderates”; embraced by the West without a shred of evidence that he has any moderate beliefs, while turning a blind eye to the nearly 4,000 people who have been executed under his watch since 2013.

Of course, protesters will be there with a very special welcome for Rouhani. They plan to document how he is responsible for human rights abuses in Iran, from the start of the Regime to the present.

Hejazi wrote: “Rouhani was an official in 1988 and certainly aware of what was happening. Unlike [Ayatollah] Montazeri, who lost his rank as a result, neither Rouhani nor anyone who currently wields power alongside him spoke out. Meaning the legacy of that massacre is entwined with the current president’s person, and with his administration insofar as he has deliberately surrounded himself with cabinet ministers and advisors who are well-known participants in and defenders of the 1988 massacre and a range of subsequent abuses.”

Indeed, it seems that in order to get a cabinet position under Rouhani you must have committed a crime against humanity. How else could you explain hiring two “justice” ministers who were directly involved in the 1988 massacre?

On Thursday, the UN held a conference in Geneva on the 1988 massacre, acknowledging that it happened, that it was deliberately planned by the regime, and that those responsible have never faced justice.

Hejazi wrote: “It makes no sense to condemn the 1988 massacre, while welcoming Rouhani year after year. The Islamic Republic’s appalling human rights record did not end with the 1988 massacre; it did not end in the following decades or with the death of Ruhollah Khomeini; and it certainly did not end with the election of the supposedly moderate Rouhani. Iran’s current president oversaw one of the bloodiest periods since the summer of 1988…Over 100 executions were carried out in July alone, several of them in public and at least one involving a minor at the time of his alleged crime.”

Despite many policies, including the execution of juveniles, that contravene international law; Iran refuses foreign intervention or comment.

Hejazi wrote: “If that is Rouhani’s view of the international community, specifically those aspects of it tasked with defending human rights for all peoples, then why should the UN or its member states give him a public platform? Embracing a person who both expresses and embodies contempt for human rights sends the wrong message to his administration, the Iranian people, and human rights advocates throughout the world.”