A senior Iranian official has questioned the legality of appointment of a UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, calling on Ahmed Shaheed, the current rights investigator on the Islamic Republic, to resign.
“Appointing a special rapporteur on Iran requires some justification,” Secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights Mohammad Javad Larijani said, asking, “Based on what justification has a rapporteur been appointed on Iran?”
“He (Shaheed) had better step down as soon as possible because he has left a bad record as a UN human rights rapporteur,” Larijani said, adding, “Assigning a rapporteur on Iran is not justifiable and as it is not justifiable, it is illegal.”
He further noted that if the reason for the appointment is “Iran’s great democracy in the region…you should take a look at other countries in the [Middle East] region” and compare the concept of democracy in those countries with that of the Islamic Republic.
“Iran’s great democracy should be recognized and it does not need a rapporteur,” Larijani added.
He also pointed to Shaheed’s biased reports against Iran, saying a UN human rights rapporteur should be “unbiased.”
He additionally questioned the “methodology” Shaheed employs to prepare his reports on the Islamic Republic, saying he bases his reports on information available on news websites and pieces them together.
In his September report, Shaheed alleged that Iran refuses to respect minorities’ rights and claimed that the Islamic Republic’s judiciary has not been fair. Tehran categorically denies the claims.
On June 17, 2011, the UN Human Rights Council, under pressure from the United States and its allies, named former Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed as its human rights investigator on Iran.
Tehran insists that the appointment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Iran’s human rights is a selective, politically-motivated and unacceptable move.