A senior Iranian official has called for amending the definition of human rights and the workings of rights institutions, lamenting that Western states have created a monopoly in the global rights bodies.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary of the Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights Council, says in Iran’s view, the US and Europe, who have committed bloody crimes, by no means are qualified to talk about human rights.
“So we must play an active role in the conceptual and structural reconstruction of human rights,” he said on Saturday, according to a Farsi report by ISNA.
Larijani was speaking before departing Tehran for the UN headquarters in Geneva to attend a meeting on Iran during the 37th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In the UNHRC meeting, scheduled for Monday, UN members will discuss the latest report of the late UN special rapporteur for human rights in Iran Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer who took the post in September 2016.
She had frequently delivered reports to UN bodies censuring the Iranian government for widespread rights violations before she died of cardiac arrest early February.
Iran has refused to allow the UN special rapporteurs to visit the country, arguing the use of country-specific mechanisms to address human rights issues is unacceptable.
Besides, Iran says the situation of human rights in Iran by no means is a special situation to warrant a special mandate.
Tehran says the appointment of a UN special rapporteur on Iran results from the heavy influence of western governments in the UN and part of its pressure campaign against Iran since the Islamic Revolution toppled the rule of US-backed dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Disservice to Human Rights Cause
Larijani said the US and a number of its European allies, who are actively contributing to flagrant violations of the rights of millions of people across the region, abuse the noble cause of human rights in order to advance their short-sighted political interests.
“One of the major obstacles to furthering the cause of human rights is double standards and political deception at the UN,” Larijani said.
The secretary said western states use human rights as a cover for defending terrorists in Syria, and at the same time they keep mum over genocide by aggressors in other countries.
“Today, thousands of people have been martyred and millions of people are on the verge of fatal hunger in Yemen. However, the aggressors are being widely supported [by the west] and the defenders [of the Yemen nation] are being attacked [for human rights violations],” he said.
He was referring to the Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen, which has left a huge number of casualties and triggered a deadly cholera epidemic across the poorest Arab country.
Tehran will not remain silent in the face of glaring contradictions in the behaviour of western countries, Larijani said, adding it will work to reveal the true face of the self-proclaimed champions of human rights.