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Iran denounces UN fact-finding mission

Iran has said it won't cooperate with a fact-finding mission by the UN Human Rights Council. 
A general view taken on Nov. 24, 2022, shows the assembly during a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Iran, at the United Nations in Geneva.

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry today denounced the decision by the United Nations Human Rights Council to launch a fact-finding mission regarding Iran’s latest protests.

In response to the council's resolution to establish a fact-finding mission to investigate Iran over protests that began on Sept. 16, Nasser Kanani said at a press conference, “Hasty use of human rights mechanisms and the use as tools [of] such mechanisms against independent countries is rejected and condemned and will not progress human rights. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not have any cooperation with a political committee under the name of a fact-finding mission.” 

On Nov. 24, the UN Human Rights Council passed the resolution to investigate Iran over the use of deadly force to suppress protests that began after a young woman died in police custody after she was apprehended by the morality police. The protests quickly spread across the country, and so far nearly 400 people have been killed, a high number of them teenagers. 

Kanani also accused Western countries of promoting the protests in Iran. “That Western governments, especially the US and liked-minded governments, have incited riots inside Iran, there is no doubt; there is precise information on this. This information has been given to Iranian embassies in various frameworks. A considerable number of citizens of other countries have been arrested.” 

In response to Germany’s leading role in establishing the resolution, Kanani accused Germany of being one of the countries that supplied Iraq under Saddam Hussein with equipment that was later used to make chemical weapons to attack Iran during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. For dramatic effect, Kanani placed a chemical gas mask on the podium during his press conference.   

Iran has shown no signs of relaxing its approach to protests. Persian-language social media is filled daily with pictures of young Iranians who have either been killed during a protest or even committed suicide days after being released from police custody. While large-scale protests are not taking place, there continues to be gatherings and chants in public spaces. 

Many Iranian watchers looked for signs that authorities would decrease their clampdown, but on Nov. 26, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei put all doubts to rest that Iran would change its approach in putting down protests. In speaking to members of the Basij Organization, Khamenei encouraged them to enter every arena. He said that Basij members must remember that they are fighting “world arrogance,” meaning Western countries, particularly the United States, and the “few rioters … ignorant, unaware or mercenaries.” 

Khamenei finished his speech to the Basij with a verse from the Koran, reminding them to remain steadfast and “not weaken.”  

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