On Human Rights Day, Iran's Gross Abuses Should Prompt UN To Impose Severe Consequences

(New York, N.Y.) — Human Rights Day is observed annually on December 10 in honor of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on that day in 1948. Despite the Iranian regime’s stature as one of the worst human rights abusers in the world, Tehran has held leadership positions and membership in a variety of UN bodies such as the Commission for the Status of Women, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Further, the Iranian regime has consistently violated the UN Charter by explicitly calling for the destruction of another UN member state.

Contradictions and double-standards erode the UN’s credibility. Its members should honor the foundational documents of the UN and the UDHR by suspending Iran’s membership rights and privileges under Article 5 of the UN Charter or expelling Iran from the body all together as prescribed in Article 6.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) remains committed to educating the public on Iran’s human rights abuses through the following resources:

American and Western Hostages

More than 40 years after the start of the Iran hostage crisis, Iran continues to take Americans and other Westerners hostage, particularly persons who also hold Iranian citizenship. The Iranian regime currently holds several known American and European citizens, residents, and asylees on trumped-up charges. Iran takes hostages for several reasons. They serve as bargaining chips for the regime to extract geopolitical concessions from other countries. The government also seeks to punish undesirable behavior and send a message to Iranians to refrain from internal dissent. Finally, Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, so by targeting dual nationals, the regime demonstrates to the Iranian expatriate community that they are not beyond Tehran’s grasp.


Cruel and Inhuman: Executions and Other Barbarities in Iran’s Judicial System

Iran’s judicial system remains among the most brutal in the world. The Iranian regime executes more people per capita than any other country. It carries out more total executions than any nation but China, whose population is over 17 times that of Iran’s. Tehran continues to target political dissidents and ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities for execution. Capital punishment can be—and often is—carried out against juvenile offenders and for nonviolent crimes.

Iran's War on Journalism and Journalists

The Iranian regime is one of the world’s worst persecutors of journalists and suppressors of journalism. Tehran imprisons, harasses, and surveils journalists and their families; censors reporting—both directly and by intimidating journalists into self-censoring; and prevents the dissemination of journalism by blocking access to social media and jamming satellite-television signals. Iran’s war on journalists and journalism reflects the Islamic Republic’s fear of public knowledge of—and resistance to—its systemic malfeasance, mismanagement, and repression.

Iran's War on LGBT Citizens

Iran’s Islamist regime persecutes and discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens. Tehran criminalizes and harshly punishes same-sex intercourse, provides no legal protections for LGBT individuals, compels LGBT children to go through brutal “conversion therapy,” and pressures gay and lesbian Iranians to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. Consequently, gay, lesbian, and bisexual Iranians are forced to hide their sexual orientation and conceal same-sex romantic relationships in order to avoid arrest, imprisonment, flogging, and even execution.

Iran's War on Protesters: Death, Detention, and Darkness

This resource examines Tehran’s methods at suppressing protests—particularly violence, detentions, executions, and obstruction of communications. It focuses on (1) demonstrations in 2017–21 against regime mismanagement, economic problems, and the government’s downing of a civilian airliner, (2) protests in 2009 against the outcome of the disputed presidential election that year, and (3) protests by Iranian university students in 1999. Consistently, the regime has killed and injured protesters; detained, imprisoned, and tortured them; and impeded Iranians’ access to the internet and social media.

Iran’s War on Women

The Iranian regime continues to discriminate systematically against women, treating them as second-class citizens. Tehran enables violence against women and sexual exploitation of girls; harasses, jails, fines, and flogs women for crimes like appearing in public without covering their hair and bodies; forcibly segregates women from men; disproportionately punishes women in the judicial system; cracks down on activists for women’s rights; denies women political and economic opportunities; and favors men over women in family and inheritance law.

Iran’s War on Workers and the Middle Class

In Iran, workers are central victims of the Iranian regime, with few legal rights or protections. On the first May Day after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, proclaimed, “Dedicating [only] one day to the labourer, is as though we dedicate [only] one day to the light, [or only] one day to the sun.” In practice, however, post-revolutionary Iran has a decades-long track record of trampling the rights of workers and responding to their demands for independent unions, fair wages, timely payment, and safe working conditions with repression.