The United Nations officially came into existence exactly 70 years ago when its charter was ratified. It was supposed to be a force for peace, coexistence and respect for human rights.
According to the Preamble of the UN charter, “We the peoples of the United Nations determined… to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person.”
Fast forward 70 years.
Next Monday, on September 28 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly. That podium has hosted many bad characters who have used it to advocate their sinister policies. But Rouhani’s presence stands out precisely because he blends in better than many of his predecessors.
Rouhani tries to falsely depict himself as a “moderate” “or a “reformer” worthy of the trust and engagement of the international community, first and foremost the US. And this charade has only been emboldened by the nuclear deal with which the Obama administration handed a range of unwarranted concessions to Tehran and failed to accomplish its goal of cutting off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.
But even if we overlook the nuclear deal, the Rouhani administration’s treatment of its own people can leave no doubt about its true character.
According to Amnesty International and other respected human rights organizations, the human rights situation in Iran is fast deteriorating under Rouhani. There have been some 2,000 executions in Iran in the two years that Rouhani has been in office, more than in any similar period in the past 25 years. Iran holds the record of having the most executions per capita in the world, and is the biggest executioner of juvenile offenders.
On July 23, Amnesty International provided a shocking report on “Iran’s staggering execution spree.” It said nearly 700 were put to death in Iran in just over six months. This is equivalent to executing more than three people per day. At this shocking pace, Iran is set to exceed 1,000 executions for the year, far surpassing the total number of executions recorded by Amnesty International for the country in 2014.
“Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale,” the report declared. And it is not just killing that Iranians have to work about. Inhuman and degrading punishments like amputation and gouging out eyes have also been on the rise.
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