UN Resolution Calls on Iranian Militia Fighters to Exit Syrian Conflict

The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution against serious human rights violations in Syria, most notably is their call on Iranian militias to leave Syria, Al-Arabiya reports. The UN resolution condemned systematic violations and abuses against Syrian civilians since the start of the revolution in 2011. The UN also held the regime accountable for the violence. The resolution demanded foreign fighters in Syria to leave, mainly referring to the Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran-backed Hezbollah militia.

Meanwhile, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution on Tuesday which condemns Iran for its widespread violations, increased executions and repression of nationalities and religious minorities.

Supporters of the resolution expressed their concern about the increasing number of human rights violations in Iran, including high death rates, discrimination against women, ethnic and religious minorities and arbitrary arrests of activists, journalists and critics.

In an overwhelming sign of international support for human rights in Iran, 83 countries approved a resolution by the UN Third Committee today criticizing the state of human rights in the Islamic Republic. The Canadian representative at the UN General assembly, whose country prepared the resolution in question, said that the international community is deeply concerned about the increasing number of executions, particularly the execution of minors and women.

Similarly, the Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Muallami said during talks that Saudi Arabia supports the UN resolution on the human rights situation in Iran. Muallami also accused Iran of serious violations towards the rights of Ahvaz Arabs in Iran. Earlier, laws were passed to remove these people from their areas of residence in order to change the demographic structure of the region east and north of the Arabian Gulf.

The resolution welcomed progress in the areas of death penalty legislation and Iran’s participation in the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It also noted Iran’s peaceful electoral process and welcomed Iran’s contact with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

However, the resolution expressed “serious concern” at the “alarmingly high frequency” of the imposition of the death penalty,” including against minors and on the basis of “forced confessions.” The committee called on Iran to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination against women and girls and against persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities.

During the committee session, Iran’s representative did not respond directly to any of the issues raised in the resolution by the committee. Instead the Iranian representative launched a verbal attack against Canada for sponsoring the resolution, and criticized the resolution as a politicized document, indicating that Iran may still not be ready to extend its cooperation to the UN mechanisms.

Sixty-eight member states voted to abstain. At the session, abstaining countries such as Brazil and Chile raised their concerns regarding multiple rights issues such as executions in Iran or discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities, explaining that their vote was meant to encourage Iran to cooperate with the UN and its special mechanisms. Thirty countries voted against the resolution. In voting against the resolution, Iran was joined by political allies such as China, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Syria and Venezuela. These countries rejected the use of country-specific UN mechanisms to address human rights issues.