September 19, 2023 — New York
Following Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi’s address today to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, American Jewish Committee (AJC) condemned Iran’s record of rampant human rights abuses and support for anti-Israel terror groups, and reiterated its calls for the international community to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability.
President Raisi’s address comes just over a year after the murder of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman arrested by Iran’s morality police for not properly wearing a hijab, on the heels of the barring of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from sites in Iran, and less than a month before key sanctions are set to expire on the regime’s ballistic missile program.
“President Raisi’s speech to the UN General Assembly reinforced why Iran remains a dangerous and destabilizing force throughout the world. As a state sponsor of terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, Iran provides direct aid and political support to the enemies of Israel and acts to undermine regional and global security. As Iran continues to grow its uranium stockpile, we must prevent the further development of its ballistic missile program that can, in turn, provide nuclear weapons capabilities that would directly threaten Israel and her people,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch.“Iran seeks to inflict its reign of terror beyond its borders. The world cannot allow that to happen. The time to act is now.
“The UN must also speak out forcefully against ongoing abuses by the Iranian regime reflecting its utter disregard for human rights. The massive protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini a year ago and the brutal repression that followed are emblematic of its long history of violent repression targeting dissidents, women rights activists, and journalists; at the same time, it has escalated its persecution of religious minorities such as the Baha’i. The regime’s instruction to its security forces to use lethal force against protesters and its renewed detention and harassment of activists and relatives of victims of the crackdown in the weeks leading up to the anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death demonstrate its resolute determination to continue its repression and silence dissenters.”
During its meetings with more than 60 world leaders this week, AJC will urge the UN Security Council to extend the missile-related restrictions imposed on Iran by Annex B of resolution 2231 beyond their expiration date on October 18, 2023. Failing that, AJC is calling on members of the international community to take collective and individual measures to uphold the sanctions stipulated in Annex B.
AJC is also urging government leaders to speak out against Iran’s flagrant human rights abuses and to echo the determination by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran that Iran’s crackdown against protesters may amount to crimes against humanity. AJC advocated for and welcomed the UN Human Rights Council’s November 2022 condemnation of the regime’s conduct and creation of a new Independent Fact Finding Mission on Iran to investigate the violations committed since the beginning of the protests.
In December 2022, AJC advocated for and welcomed the termination of Iran’s membership on the UN Commission of the Status of Women, an unprecedented step. AJC continues to call on governments to support independent human rights monitoring of Iran’s violations, including by the Special Rapporteur on Iran, and to urge individual governments to adopt targeted, Magnitsky-style sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for its ongoing abuses.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. More at AJC.org.