Iran slams UN as “undemocratic” – and keeps suppressing opposition

During the recent visit of the UN’s secretary general Ban Ki-Moon to Tehran calls were made to let him meet with Iranian opposition leaders. These calls were voiced in the hope that a meeting between Ki-Moon and the opposition leaders would provide a more complete picture of the political landscape and the state of human rights in Iran- one that would be drastically different from the bright image portrayed by the Iranian regime.

The Iranian regime had declined these calls at around the same time that Khamenei had began his strategic attack against the UN, an attack in which he denounced the UN and some of its bodies as “undemocratic”. Specifically, during his opening speech to the non-aligned movement conference in Tehran, Khamenei slammed the “overt dictatorship” of the U.N. Moreover, Khamenei had stated that  “the U.N. Security Council has an irrational, unjust and utterly undemocratic structure, and this is an overt dictatorship”. These statements were echoed regardless of the fact that Ki-Moon was present in the audience.

Khamenei’s statements are ironic if not hypocritical considering the fact that while he was delivering his speech Iranian opposition leaders were (and still are) subject to house arests for a period that already exceeded 18 months.

At this point one should ask; how could a regime who imprisons political rivals consider itself democratic? Furthermore, how does this same undemocratic regime have the audacity to call for revisions in the UN structure under the claim of aspiring for a more democratic UN? Put simply; how could a dictatorship blame the UN for being a dictatorship?

It is important to note that the violent oppression of alternative voices in Iran is not limited to leaders alone – It is well reflected in the long record of abysmal human rights violations undertaken by the Iranian regime. Indeed, only this week David Alton reported in “The Independent” that:

“The Iranian regime has resorted to extreme measures to quell any hint of dissent at home, in particular towards the PMOI, the only viable organized opposition… The Iranian authorities continue the extensive use of the death penalty, with at least 360 executions reported in the country and Amnesty suggesting that there have been over 274 other executions, with many prisoners executed secretly… Since the 2009 uprising, the regime has arrested scores of individuals affiliated with the PMOI, charging each with “ moharbeh” and sentencing them to death…”

Under the above circumstances it should be made loud and clear that the Iranian regime’s calls for a new global order, and its requests to be more involved in the UN and its different bodies, should be put aside at the very least until the regime undertakes concrete actions to insure democratic processes and basic human rights in Iran.

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