UN Campaign

The purpose of the UN Campaign is to track the Iranian regime’s ongoing misuse of the UN system and highlight Iran’s hypocritical conduct on the international stage. Iran directly undermines the founding principles of the UN, brazenly flouts multiple binding UN Security Council resolutions and misuses the UN General Assembly as a platform to promulgate hate speech, threaten other UN members with annihilation and deny the Holocaust. In an August 14, 2012 Wall Street JournalOp-Ed, UANI leadership stated, “Iran has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction, using anti-Semitic, anti-Israel rhetoric in violation of the Genocide Convention. It has been repeatedly sanctioned by the Security Council and condemned by the International Atomic Energy Agency for violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has also been cited for aiding the Assad regime's slaughter of Syrian citizens. Tehran regularly hosts Holocaust-denial conferences.”

Despite Iran’s history of flouting UN principles and resolutions, the Iranian regime has managed to secure leadership positions and attain membership in a number of UN bodies. For example, at a time when Iranian women suffer some of the world’s most severe institutionalized discrimination, Iran retains membership on the Commission for the Status of Women. Similarly, while Iran was carrying out a bloody crackdown in the streets of Tehran against citizens protesting for their own democratic rights, Iran held the Presidency of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), an organization dedicated to promoting democracy. While Iran intimidates, beats, and imprisonstrade unionists, it is a Member of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office. The Islamic Republic of Iran, which served on the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2004 and 2005routinely executes minors. The hypocrisy of the regime’s participation in these UN bodies is clear.

Iran is also the recipient of substantial UN assistance even while acting in open defiance of multiple Security Council resolutions. For example, Iran reportedly received sensitive dual-use technology from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Iran also received over $51.5 million worth of funding for projects under the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In a number of these projects, UNIDO is partnered with Iran’s Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO), a regime entity sanctioned by both the U.S. and EU for its involvement in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The Iranian regime continues to abuse its positions within the UN to legitimize its atrocious human rights record, broadcast its incitement to genocide, and undermine the work of the international community. UANI is therefore calling on the UN to suspend Iran’s rights and privileges, if not expel it outright. Article 6 of the UN Charter explicitly provides for the expulsion of any member "which has persistently violated the Principles contained" therein while Article 5 enables the suspension "from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership."

UN Charter

Chapter 1, Article 2:

3.) All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Quds Day Address, 2012:

“…in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “2005 World Without Zionism Conference ” in Tehran:

[we]... will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world.”

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

Article III:

1. "Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards...for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfilment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

Report of the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, August 30, 2012:

"Despite the intensified dialogue between the Agency and Iran since January 2012, efforts to resolve all outstanding substantive issues have achieved no concrete results: Iran ... simply dismissed the Agency’s concerns ... Iran has not responded to the Agency’s initial questions on Parchin and the foreign expert; Iran has not provided the Agency with access to the location within the Parchin site to which the Agency has requested access; and Iran has been conducting activities at that location that will significantly hamper the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification."

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Article 3:

“The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ramadan speech, 2012:

“Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Quds Day Address, 2012:

“… an occasion for all human communities to wipe out this scarlet letter, meaning the Zionist regime, from the forehead of humanity.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “2005 World Without Zionism Conference” in Tehran:

“Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement.”

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 5:

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 6, 2012:

"Several [interviewees] stated that they had been subjected to coercive treatment that is tantamount to torture, including the excessive use of solitary confinement, electric shock, severe beatings, threats of rape and threats to detain and/or harm friends, associates and family members."

Article 7:

"All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law."

Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 6, 2012:

"The Special Rapporteur continues to receive reports about human rights violations affecting ethnic minorities, in law and in practice. As at 31 October 2011, 15 Kurdish activists were reportedly on death row on charges including 'acting against national security', 'corruption on earth' and espionage. Minorities also continue to be subjected to intense socio-economic discrimination and pressures, including land and property confiscation, denial of employment and restrictions on social, cultural and linguistic rights...."

Article 9:

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 6, 2012:

"...violations of due process rights are chronic, reducing the likelihood of a fair trial...the majority of persons interviewed...maintained that they were not presented with a warrant or reason for arrest during their interrogations. Several interviewees reported that they had endured unlawful searches and seizures, and had been held for weeks, even months, in solitary confinement without being informed of their charges. All interviewees stated that they had been blindfolded during transfer and their interrogation, and most were unable to contact family members to inform them of their whereabouts and did not have access to legal counsel after their arrest, and during their detention or investigations."

Article 15 (2):

No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, press conference in Tehran, 2008:

“…these people (Israelis) … should leave the occupied territories … and get back to their countries and homes where they originally came from."

“…we do not believe in an Israeli government or an Israeli nation

Article 18:

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, March 6, 2012:

"The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by communications that demonstrate the systemic and systematic persecution of members of unrecognized religious communities, particularly the Baha'i community, in violation of international conventions ... Baha'is continue to be arbitrarily arrested and detained for their beliefs..."

Islamic Republic of Iran Leadership in UN Agencies

UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

In April 2010, Iran was elected to a four-year term on the CSW despite the fact that Iran is guilty of institutionalized discrimination against women. For example, “women lack the ability to choose their husbands, have no independent right to education after marriage, no right to divorce, no right to child custody, have no protection from violent treatment in public spaces, are restricted by quotas for women’s admission at universities, and are arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for peacefully seeking change of such laws.”

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Iran was an elected member of the UNDP Executive Board in 2011, and was elected Chair for 2009. Iran routinely works at cross-purposes with UNDP goals, most notably in regards to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and the empowerment of women (the UNDP overseas the UN Development Fund for Women). For instance, Iran held the Chair of the UNDP Executive Board while simultaneously carrying out a bloody crackdown in the streets of Tehran against citizens protesting for their own democratic governance.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Iran is currently a member of UNIDO, and has received over $51.5 million worth of aid for UNIDO projects, including provision of technical advice and support for the regime-controlled Iranian petrochemical sector. Many UNIDO projects and project proposals cite the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) and its subsidiaries as partners. The U.S. and EU-sanctioned IDRO is a government body that controls entities involved in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and is dedicated to procuring foreign technology to further these illicit aims.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Iran is currently elected to positions on the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the International Narcotics Control Board. The Iranian regime constantly issues pleas for extensive international aid to combat drug-trafficking in and on its borders, yet actively benefits from close ties to Latin American drug cartels and worldwide drug-trafficking schemes. Iran also executes hundreds of citizens each year for minor drug-related offenses. As noted by Human Rights Watch, international assistance from organizations like UNODC has made it “easier to prosecute alleged offenders based on unfair trials, and even apply the death sentence under the draconian drug laws of Iran’s revolutionary court.” Additionally, weapons provided to Iran to ostensibly combat drugs traffickers have instead been funneled to its terrorist allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they are used to kill American and NATO troops.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The Islamic Republic of Iran was elected a member of the UNICEF Executive Board for 2000-2005 and 2008-2010. During the latter two periods, Iran has been one of the world’s most egregious violators of children’s rights by routinely executing minors. Iran also idolizes its practice of using child soldiers to clear minefields during the Iran-Iraq War, with Khamenei describing it as “the symbol of greatest pride,” and Ahmadinejad asking “Is there an art that is more beautiful, more divine, more eternal than the art of a martyr’s death?” Iran is also party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and both optional protocols, including the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

UN General Assembly Sixth Committee: The Legal Committee

The Islamic Republic of Iran served as Vice-Chair of the General Assembly's Legal Committee during its 64th Session (2009-2010) despite its flagrant disregard for the rule of law. The Legal Committee's agenda includes "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism." Iran is "an active state sponsor of terrorism" and has "increased its terrorist-related activity" on American soil and around the globe.

Islamic Republic of Iran Membership in UN Agencies


International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

Iran has increasingly restricted free access to communications systems and the Internet, spurring Reporters Without Borders to condemn Iran as one of the prime “Enemies of the Internet” in 2010. ITU partners with Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, a government organ with broad authority over such censorship, and with MTN Irancell and the IRGC-controlled Telecommunications Company of Iran. During the aftermath of the fraudulent 2009 elections, MTN Irancell was involved in blocking text messaging and Skype services to protestors. MTN Irancell is also complicit in the monitoring and tracking of dissidents on behalf of the regime.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Despite its membership in the IMO, Iran has circumvented international sanctions by pursuing the deceptive practice of renaming and re-domiciling ships, as well as dangerously shutting off ship transponders in violation of maritime law. Additionally, Iran has threatened to indiscriminately mine the straits of Hormuz, a waterway vital to international trade, and routinely smuggles weapons by sea to its allies in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Though Iran is a member of the ILO and a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which guarantees the right to association), independent labor unions are banned in Iran. According to Amnesty International “union activists are regularly beaten, arrested, jailed and tortured.” During demonstration in 2009, the regime arrested over 100 workers and executed their leader. An Iranian government representative, Kamran Fannizadeh, currently serves as Director for the Programme for the Promotion of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Iran is also chair of the Selection Committee of the International Labour Commission.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Iran is currently an elected member of the UNHCR Executive Committee, yet routinely tracks and abuses the thousands of Iranian citizens who have fled the country to escape persecution. Iranian security forces are known to stake out neighboring countries in order to pursue and harass Iranian refugees, while also threatening and arresting any family members who remain in Iran.

United Nations Conference on Disarmament

Although the UN Conference on Disarmament lists as primary matters of its attention "cessation of the nuclear arms race," "nuclear disarmament" and "prevention of nuclear war", Iran is a member.