Yesterday, Washington finally succeeded in diverting world’s attention from Israel’s human rights violations by blackmailing (US pays 22% of the UN’s annual budget of $1.18 billion) the 47-members UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Iran. Professor Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for the Palestinian Territories has been a thorn for both Tel Aviv and Washington.
The proposal championed by the United States and Sweden won approval in a 22-7 vote at the council. As many as 14 nations abstained, and four of the council’s 47 nations did not participate.
Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, the US representative at the council, told members before the voting that the U.S. and other countries “are gravely concerned about the situation in Iran, where respect for fundamental human rights has deteriorated dramatically in recent years.”
Iran’s UN mission disagreed, saying that the United States has committed human rights abuses against Palestinians by supporting Israel, against Afghan civilians and against secretly held detainees who also have been tortured.
This politicizes the process,” said Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking for the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents 57 Muslim nations. “As a matter of principle, Pakistan does not support country mandates,” he said. “No country in the world can claim to have an unblemished human rights record.”
Geneva-based HRC is in the final week of a month-long session in which it will adopt up to six resolutions condemning Israel. The Cuba-born Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee (Irving Moskowitz, a funder of illegal Jewish settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem – was her major election campaign contributor) has asked Obama to withdraw from the HRC and “explore credible, alternative forums to advance human rights.”
The UNHRC was established in 2006 to replace the 60-year-old Human Rights Commission. The US joined the body in 2009 when NewZealand withdrew in its favor.
In March 2009 – The council adopted a resolution sponsored by Pakistan and other Islamic states that condemned the “defamation of religion” as a violation of human rights, arguing that abuses against Muslims have mounted in the years following the 911 terror attacks. But European states criticized the Islamic resolution, saying it posed a threat to the right of free speech. Interestingly, many of these European states have laws which say: “Deny the Holocaust and go to prison“.
I suppose Israel-Firster and a major cheerleader for the US-led war on Iraq in 2003, John Bolton, former US ambassador at UN – could be the best Special Rapporteur on Iran to counter Dr. Richard Falk’s (with a Jewish family background) criticism of Israel’s human rights violations. John Bolton, whose mother was Jewish – showed his paranoid nature about Islamic Iran during his speech at CPAC meeting in 2009.
“The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks it’s a priority,” said Bolton. “He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many nuclear weapons they are ultimately able to deliver on target. Its, uh, its tiny compared to the Soviet Union, but is the loss of one American city” – here Bolton changes his tone subtly to prepare for the joke – “pick one at random – Chicago – is that a tiny threat?”
Special UNHR Watchdog for Iran | Rehmat's World