On November 19, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution L.45: Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic. This resolution was drafted and introduced by Canada as part of ongoing attacks by the Canadian state against Iran that are aimed at isolating and destabilizing that country in the service of Anglo-American geo-political interests. These attacks include the unilateral severing of diplomatic relations with Iran on September 7, 2012, and putting Iran on a spurious list of states that sponsor terrorism. One of the pretexts given for these actions at that time was the accusation that Iran was the biggest human rights violator in the world.This hooligan behaviour was once again on display when Canada introduced its resolution on November 5 at the Third Committee. This marks the 13th year that Canada has introduced such as resolution at the UN. It should be recalled that Canada broke off diplomatic ties with Iran in 2012 after the latter had hosted a successful meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran that exemplified the isolation of the Anglo-American imperialist system of states.
Resolution L.45 is a blatant violation of the sovereignty of Iran and based on Cold War definitions of human rights. As TML Weekly pointed out at the time of Canada’s review by the UN Human Rights Committee earlier this year:
“The concepts of rights and so-called universal values promoted by Canada originate with the U.S. imperialists, specifically the 1991 ‘Paris Charter.’ The essence of the Paris Charter is to declare any country which does not have a market economy, human rights and elections of a kind which suit the U.S. and the big powers of old Europe a pariah state that requires regime change. It is this Cold War definition of human rights that Canada and other countries that are part of the U.S./EU imperialist system of states use to berate other countries.”
It calls on the Iranian government to uphold the rights of women and minorities, political opponents of the regime, to end torture and other cruel punishment, as well as arbitrary detention among other things – rights which the Canadian state violates at home with impunity.
When the resolution was introduced on November 5, the representative of the Iranian delegation pointed out that it was regrettable that Canada had seen fit to put forward this resolution at a time when Iran had recently concluded a nuclear deal based on diplomacy and negotiations carried out in a spirit of mutual respect. She also pointed out that Canada’s defence of human rights is suspect given its treatment of Indigenous peoples. She stated that she hoped that the new Canadian government would help undo some of the damage that has been done vis-à-vis Canada-Iran relations in the last dozen year.
Many countries including Nigeria, Ecuador, Cuba, Belarus, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria and Bolivia, spoke against the resolution. Among other things, they highlighted that the resolution was counterproductive to advancing human rights and that it violates the UN Charter by interfering in the internal affairs of another country. They also rejected the politicization of human rights by singling out certain countries for sanction while other countries with dubious human rights records are immune. Iran’s representative said that resolution was based on fabrications and speculation. He said it was outrageous that some of the co-sponsoring countries were dictatorships where no human rights could be found anywhere, while others were countries which are recruiting, sheltering and arming terrorists to carry out attacks against the peoples of the world.
It is clear that many of the countries which voted with the resolution were coerced to do so by the Anglo-American powers. The vote of 76 for, 35 against and 68 abstentions shows slightly less support than last year’s resolution, which received a vote of 78 for, 35 against with 69 abstentions.
All peace- and justice-loving Canadians must oppose this brutal resolution against Iran. It does not serve the cause of human rights anywhere. The Canadian state which violates human rights with impunity at home does not have the credibility to speak about human rights anywhere else.
1. “Anti-Human Rights Agenda: Canada’s Weapon to Oppose and Humiliate Countries that Choose an Independent Path,” TML Weekly, July 11, 2015 – No. 28.