Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 October 2020

Saudi Arabia calls on Iran to focus on human development

Regional meddling hurts livelihoods of ordinary Iranians, Saudi delegate to UN says

An Iranian woman walks in Tehran. AFP
An Iranian woman walks in Tehran. AFP

A Saudi official called on Tehran this week to further the lives of Iranian citizens instead of its armed proxies in the region.

Mohammed Khashaan on Monday told the UN Human Rights Council that Iranian backing for “terrorist organisations in Lebanon and Yemen deprives its citizens of their right to development, stability and security”.

“We call on Iran to live up to its in international obligations and to take measures aimed at development in Iran and at providing decent living conditions for its citizens,” said Mr Khashaan, a member of the Saudi permanent UN mission.

He said Iran's regional meddling undermined human rights in the countries where Tehran intervened.

A report on Iran to the council on Monday by Javaid Rehman, special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, detailed a range of breaches.

Among them are a crackdown on protests last year in which the authorities killed at least 304 people including 12 children, the execution of minors and the arrest of lawyers, environmental campaigners and foreign nationals.

Mr Rehman said Iranian human rights defenders and those who campaigned to ease poverty in the country “have faced a harsh response".

“In particular, I remain deeply concerned at the arrest and imprisonment of human rights defenders and lawyers,” he said.

Mr Rehman said he had asked Iran to temporarily free all political prisoners from its jails to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

He said Iranian authorities only released those serving sentences of less than five years, while political prisoners and others jailed for taking part in demonstrations remained in jail.

Updated: March 12, 2020 02:11 AM

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