Iran rights issue wrongfully in spotlight: Senior official

Secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights says the country is the region’s leading democracy, and its human rights record has been wrongfully subjected to unnecessary scrutiny.

“Assigning a special rapporteur for the Islamic Republic of Iran where we have the biggest democracy in the region, and judicial rules and regulations are very advanced and rigorous has been very illogical and unfair,” Mohammad Javad Larijani said on Tuesday.

He made the remarks in a meeting with South African Deputy Foreign Minister Luwellyn Landers in Geneva where he is to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 31st session.

As a case in point, Larijani referred to parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections on Friday, marked by a high voter turnout and a close race among political groups.

“In our region, there are countries which are miles behind us in terms of civil structures but nothing is said about their human rights issues,” he said.

“Hence, it is tyrannical and irrational for Iran to come under a massive assault and be subject to special reporting,” Larijani added.

Various reports by UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, have attacked the Islamic Republic.

The reports have come under criticism by many independent observers who have questioned them for being based on accounts provided by expatriates and terrorist groups such as the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).

Larijani said the use of human rights as an instrument is “detrimental” to promotion of rights.

“Like South Africa, Iran believes that the issue of human rights is not being followed in a just and unbiased manner on the international level, and it has been sacrificed at the expense of political motivations of the big powers.”

Landers, for his part, congratulated Larijani and the Iranian nation on the country’s successful elections.

“This is a great lesson for those seeking democracy,” he said, adding the achievement is greatly valuable on the international stage and has remarkably enhanced Iran’s position in terms of respect for civil society.

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