Iran Censures UN for Taking Saudi-Led Coalition Off Child Rights Blacklist

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Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has slammed the United Nations for its double standards on human rights after the UN chief’s decision to remove the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen from a list of violators of children’s rights.

In a statement on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi deplored the UN secretary-general’s decision to remove the Saudi-led coalition from a blacklist of those violating children’s rights.

“The UN secretary-general has omitted the name of Saudi-led coalition from the list of child-murderers while, as acknowledged by the international organizations, a large number of Yemeni children and teenagers have died in catastrophes such as bomb attacks on buses carrying students and aerial bombing of residential houses, schools and hospitals, as the tragic news and images of them are undeniable,” he noted.

The spokesperson said such measures by the UN are not unprecedented, as in 2015, the then secretary-general of the United Nations had removed Saudi Arabia from the same blacklist of children’s rights violators arguing that Saudi Arabia had threatened to cut off funding to the UN. 

“Unfortunately, some in the United Nations are seeking to sanctify that country’s (Saudi Arabia’s) crimes against Yemeni children and women with Saudi dollars, while the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has announced that a Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes of the consequences of the war and blockade imposed on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition,” Mousavi added.

The Iranian spokesman further denounced the “shocking and disgusting” logic behind the decision to remove Saudi Arabia from the blacklist of violators of children’s rights in armed conflict because the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the death or injury of “only 222 children” in 2019.

“The result obtained logically is that the death and injury of this number of children is either an unimportant fact for the secretariat of that organization (the UN) or the casualties at the hands of a country like Saudi Arabia is deemed to be a praiseworthy progress compared to the past record, which is another evidence for the claims that there are selective approaches and double standards on human rights,” the Iranian spokesperson stated.

On Tuesday, the UN secretary-general removed the Saudi-led coalition from his latest “list of shame” despite continued grave violations against children in Yemen. Antonio Guterres also ignored violations by other parties, including the United States and Israel, by omitting them from his list.

Five years of Saudi-led war on Yemen has devastated the poor country, reportedly killed more than 100,000 people, and triggered the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

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