- Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani said Washington was forced to present its Universal Periodic Review on human rights in the US following intense pressure by Iran and other UPR founders.
"All countries should submit UPR reports and this is an issue which was ratified (at the session of the UPR member states) despite the US opposition; hence they (the US) were forced to respond to our questions," Larijani said, addressing a conference on human rights in Tehran on Sunday.
The secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council underlined that Iran itself will release its UPR report this Friday.
He explained that the UN has three mechanisms for reporting "and UPR is the first of such mechanisms and we have been among those who presented this initiative and we accept it."
Larijani said that all UN members release their UPR reports once every four years.
He then said reports by UN rapporteurs is the second type of such mechanisms, and stressed, "Iran does not have a problem with this type of mechanism as the UN rapporteurs have travelled to Tehran several times before and they will also continue to do so."
Larijani said the third mechanism used by the UN for reporting on the human rights conditions of the UN member states is the product of the work of special rapporteurs. "We have serious problems with the special rapporteur and since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 Ahmad Shaheed is the third UN special rapporteur."
Elaborating on the cause of Iran's opposition to the present UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Larijani pointed to the six problems that Iran has with Ahmed Shaheed, and said, "Our first problem is that they should explain why (the UN wants to send) a special rapporteur, what has happened in Iran that they have appointed a special rapporteur and why this rapporteur is needed for Iran and not for other countries."
The secretary of Iran's Human Rights Council referred to the second problem as Ahmed Shaheed's biasedness and his lack of impartiality as a UN rapporteur. "We do not want Shaheed to be our friend, we only say that he should not take political stances against Iran."
Larijani pointed to the third problem as the method of survey used by Shaheed, and said, "Whenever we ask about his method, he does not say a word."
Pointing to the fourth problem, he said Shaheed is fabricating documents against Iran.
Larijani referred to the fifth problem as supporting terrorism, and said, "Ahmed Shaheed calls terrorist suspects as advocates of human rights … while supporting terrorism is liable to international prosecution."
And, he said, the sixth problem with Ahmed Shaheed is that he has insulted Islam on numerous occasions.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.
The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council itself. It is a cooperative process which, by October 2011, has reviewed the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States.
Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists. The UPR is one of the key elements of the Council which reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.
UN Chief Ban Ki-moon says the Universal Periodic Review "has great potential to promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world”.