After a full year of efforts by Iran’s human rights diplomats to discredit or ignore the mandate of Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed, 22 members of the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to renew the mandate for another year on March 22.
Shaheed’s insistence on tackling extensive issues pertaining to the systematic violations of human rights in Iran neutralized Tehran’s strategy of denial, deflection, discrediting, and lack of cooperation with the UN. In addition, the votes Shaheed collected from council members led to the unprecedented isolation of the Islamic Republic of Iran within the UN, the political consequences of which go far beyond the Human Rights Council.
The Iranian team, led by Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of the Iranian Judiciary’s human rights council, was left to console itself with 5 nay votes and 20 abstentions.
One year ago, the Human Rights Council angered Iranian authorities by creating a special procedure for the review of the situation of human rights in Iran and appointing a Special Rapporteur. During the past year, despite his repeated requests, Shaheed was unable to receive permission to enter Iran. He did, however, fulfill the commitment stipulated in his mandate by presenting two reports.