Iran’s human rights performance was overwhelmingly applauded by delegates to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) during the body’s Universal Periodic Review of the Islamic Republic’s record on Friday, according to UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization.
The HRC’s Friday hearing was attended by representatives of 111 countries, with 95 of them lauding Iran’s human rights record. Iran was instrumental in the fight against Daesh* (ISIS), sending troops to Iraq and Syria to defeat the Sunni extremist group, which had targeted local Shiites.
Iran’s rights record was specifically lauded by North Korea, Qatar, Belarus, Malaysia, Iraq, Oman, Indonesia and the Palestinian Authority.
A North Korean representative specifically praised the Iranian government “for its dedicated efforts and its continuing progress in its promotion and protection of human rights for its people, particularly women, children and persons with disabilities, despite [US] economic sanctions”.
They were echoed by a Palestinian spokesperson who applauded Tehran’s drive “to promote and protect human rights, including ongoing efforts in improving education and health”.
“We highly appreciate these results (the progress of Iran), knowing at the same time that the country is forced to overcome the difficulties associated with the application of illegal unilateral coercive measures against it,” a Belarusian representative pointed out.
A US spokesperson, in turn, lambasted Iran for “flagrantly” violating “citizens’ human rights”, calling on the Islamic Republic to “immediately release all Iranian prisoners of conscience”.
Iran Says US, Regional Allies Responsible for Rights Violations – Reports
The HRC’s periodic review comes after Iranian Judiciary Chief Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi claimed in late June that the US and its allies are the worst offenders of human rights in the Middle East, according to the Mehr News agency.
He specifically pointed to the rights of civilians in Yemen, which Raeisi claimed are being violated by the Saudi-led coalition with the complicity of Washington.
In 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states joined the armed civil war in Yemen on the side of government forces against the Houthi movement. The UN has repeatedly called the Yemeni conflict, which has persisted since 2011, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 24 million people – over 80 percent of the country’s population – currently in need of aid.
* Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist5 group banned in Russia and a number of other countries