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Special Session on Iran: General Comment by the U.S. Delegation
November 24, 2022

General Comment by the Delegation of the United States of America 

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Iran 

November 24, 2022   

Thank you, Mr. President.  I thank the delegations of Germany and Iceland for requesting this urgent session and leading negotiations on the resolution text in an open and transparent manner, including continued engagement with the country concerned.  The United States strongly supports the session as well as the resolution before us today.  

We thank the Special Rapporteur, numerous human rights organizations, and the Iranian people for their work and conviction.   

A vote in favor of this resolution demonstrates solidarity with the brave people of Iran, notably women and girls, who despite grave risks continue to speak out. We must respond to their cries for accountability in the wake of what they are facing.  

This session and this resolution are necessary because of Iran’s demonstrated unwillingness to investigate numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses by members of its security forces and other officials. We echo the resolution’s call for the Iranian authorities to allow free, full, and unhindered access to the country, including all places of detention, and to extend full cooperation to the thematic special procedures of the Human Rights Council and the human rights treaty bodies. 

Human rights defenders and other members of civil society should have the ability to participate in and organize peaceful protests free from government interference with the freedoms of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association.

The United States strongly supports the creation of a Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the Government of Iran’s violent response to peaceful protests.  As the Special Rapporteur has concluded multiple times, including right here in this vey room this morning, the Iranian government has not demonstrated the will to undertake impartial, transparent, and independent investigations to hold accountable officials who commit human rights violations and abuses, including arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings.  A Fact-Finding Mission is necessary to promote accountability and supplement ongoing reporting by the Special Rapporteur. As such, we oppose in the strongest terms the PRC’s proposed amendment. Frankly, in light of many recent statements by colleagues calling for transparency and imploring states to refrain from introducing last-minute amendments, I am personally appalled by this action today.

Some who have defended the Iranian authorities have sought to cast this merely as a cultural issue.  Let us be clear; no culture tolerates the killing of women and children.

We urge all delegations to support the unamended resolution and uphold our mandate to protect. 

I thank you.