What Is The Right Policy Forward on Iran Human Rights Violations?

Human Rights Violation decision on Irana and North Korea made by UN General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly voted on Thursday, December 17th to passed a resolution strongly condemning Iran’s horrific and systematic human rights violations — especially group and arbitrary executions, increasing violence and discrimination against women and religious and ethnic minorities.(1) This is the 62nd U.N. resolution against the atrocious violations committed by the mullahs ruling Iran.

While such measures are completely necessary, it is high time to take serious and practical measures for the mullahs to finally pay the cost of such atrocities. One major step would be to refer Iran’s gross human rights violations dossier to the U.N. Security Council and International Criminal Court to place the ruling mullahs before justice.

The escalating human rights violations in Iran and condemning the mullahs in the highest international bodies, with this trend continuing for years in the past three decades, shows that this regime has no place in today’s neighborhood of nations.

The murderers of the Iranian people, with a report card of executing over 120,000 political prisoners and seven massacres against Iranian refugees in Iraq, must be held accountable by the U.N. Security Council and placed on trial for their crimes against humanity.(2)

This is the sole solution to truly respect the vote of the majority of countries from across the globe against human rights violations in Iran during the past 30 years. This is especially important since the majority of the current senior officials in Iran have been in key posts running the country for the past 35 years, and their hands are all drenched in the blood of the Iranian people.

Unfortunately, arguments are heard that through silence in the face of horrendous human rights violations in Iran the international community will be able to rein in Tehran’s nuclear programs and its export of terrorism and fundamentalism.  However, this is a grave miscalculation based on short-term economic interests and closed-minded political reservations.

Inaction in this regard will be considered by the mullahs sitting on the throne in Tehran as a green light to continue their massacres and tortures. This also encourages Iran in its warmongering in Syria, Iraq and across the Middle East. Senior officials in Tehran will also be assured that no serious action will be taken against their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations in 2008 2

Protests outside of the United Nations in New York City when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the governing body at the end of his first term as President of Iran 2008, 2009. [image by David Shankbone via Flickr is under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) License]

The resolution expresses its grave concern of the high rate of executions in Iran and the lack of internationally recognized protective systems in this regard. It is also preposterous that Tehran is using the death sentence against juveniles and individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crimes.(3) The U.N. called on Tehran to revoke the death penalty altogether and ban any form of torture or other ruthless, inhumane or insulting measures or punishment in law and practice.

When dealing with a country in the West, such remarks would be very damning and may even result in an entire cabinet placing in their resignations. However, we are talking about the Mullahs that only understands the language of force. Actions speak louder than words, and the mullahs will never budge on their human rights policies until the West, and the international community as a whole, take serious measures.

For example, the global sanctions imposed on Iran in response to its suspicious and controversial nuclear program nearly brought the economy to its knees, causing major domestic unrest. Fearing a repeat of the 2009 uprising, the mullahs quickly agreed to the conditions set by the international community on curbing its nuclear apparatus.
Embed from Getty Images

The same will be about its human rights violations. Iran considers its policy of domestic crackdown, coupled with the export of Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism, and extremism abroad, as vital pillars to its very survival.(4),(5) Therefore, it will not back down until it senses seriousness to the international community. The fact that more than 2,000 people have been executed since the “moderate” Hassan Rouhani was selected as the regime’s president in July 2013 is the best proof that this administration has no intention to back down from its domestic repression anytime soon.

The major opposition group to mullahs, National Council of Resistance of Iran have been advocating for decades demanding serious action on Mullahs’ human rights violations. Serious sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council for the flagrant human rights violations witnessed in Iran, and International Criminal Court holding senior officials accountable is the right policy forward.

[Featured image by Lara Torvi via Flickr is under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) License]


1. Nichols, M. (2015, December 17). United Nations condemns human rights abuses in Iran, North Korea. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from http://www.trust.org/item/20151217225230-v5hqq/?source=shtw

2. “UNHCR Issues Update on Situation of Camp Liberty Residents.” UNHCR Issues Update on Situation of Camp Liberty Residents. NCRI – National Council of Resistance of Iran, 16 Dec. 2015. Web. 21 Dec. 2015. http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/ashraf-liberty/19642-unhcr-issues-update-on-situation-of-camp-liberty-residents

3. Iran: Renewed death sentences for juvenile offenders show ‘contempt’ for children’s rights. (2015, December 8). Retrieved December 21, 2015, from http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/iran-renewed-death-sentences-for-juvenile-offenders-show-‘contempt-for-children-s-rights

4. Iran regime seizes thousands of cars for women. (2015, December 16). Retrieved December 21, 2015, from http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/women/19640-iran-regime-seizes-thousands-of-cars-for-women-s-veil-offences-afp

5. Leshin, Z. (2015, December 8). Bipartisan Agreement: Iran is Leading State Sponsor of International Terrorism. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/zachary-leshin/bipartisan-agreement-iran-leading-state-sponsor-terrorism

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