The Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, Abdullah Mouallimi strongly censured the Iranian regime’s crimes against Ahwazi Arab people, Sunni Muslims and other minorities in Iran, at a voting session during the third meeting of the UN General Assembly’s committee, with the committee members unanimously approving a draft resolution condemning the regime’s grotesque human rights violations.
Responding to a speech by Iran’s UN representative at the UNGA meeting, Ambassador Mouallimi said that the Iranian regime crimes against Ahwazi Arabs had “touched a raw nerve,” condemning what he said was the regime’s reprehensible efforts to disregard and undermine the Saudi representative’s comments. The Saudi official added, “Ahwaz Arabs are facing persecution and afflicted by hidden crimes undeclared by Iran, which it perpetrates all over the place."
The Saudi delegate stressed that "Before the Iranian delegate gives advice to anyone else, he should return to [Iran’s] own history, as Iran is one of the longest-enduring State sponsors of terrorism in the world.”
The Saudi delegate continued, “Iran supports Hezbollah, which has carried out terrorist operations all over the world, Iran has sheltered al-Qaida leaders in its country. Iran has carried out in my country – in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – a number of well-documented terrorist attacks, such as the Khobar Towers attack and others. Iran is still practicing terrorism by sectarian war in Syria.”
Speaking during the session, the Canadian UN Ambassador, Marc-André Blanchard, whose country prepared the draft resolution, expressed grave disappointment at the terrible human rights situation in Iran and the lack of any effort on Tehran’s part in response to the criticisms raised to date.
Blanchard asserted that "the human rights situation in Iran is still a threat," pointing in particular to the "large number and horrific executions, including executions of minors and procedures of systematic discrimination against women and minorities, and restrictions on freedom of expression.”
The non-binding resolution issued following the UNGA committee’s third session strongly condemned the Iranian regime’s domestic human rights violations, especially its implementation of a large number of death sentences, as well as strongly condemning the Tehran regime’s continuing discriminatory policies against ethnic monitories. The resolution was approved by 85 votes, with 35 UNGA members voting against and 63 abstaining, a significantly higher number of votes in favour than for the same resolution in 2015.
On a related matter, 11 Arab UN member states issued a strongly worded joint statement last week accusing Iran of being a “state sponsor of terrorism” throughout the Middle East, and of only increasing “aggression in the region and continuing support for terrorist groups” since the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The letter, published on Friday by the UN, was signed by the UN ambassadors of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The Arab countries expressed alarm that the Iranian constitution “through its political and religious figures, calls for the export of its revolution to other countries.”
The signatories specifically accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism extending “from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, to Houthis in Yemen and terrorist groups and cells in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Iraq, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and elsewhere.”
The joint statement accused the Iranian regime of adopting a “radical approach” which it said “undermines security and stability in our region and the Arab world.”
Human rights activists hailed the statement, stating that it’s important that Middle Eastern actors were speaking out against Iranian terrorism, especially on the eve of the UN’s vote on a resolution condemning Iran for its widespread human rights abuses.
“Iran likes to dismiss all criticism of its human rights violations and brutality at home and abroad as part of a western plot, but that’s hard to sustain when the accusers are all Muslim governments, including recent allies of Iran like Sudan,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental human rights organization.