Iran was expelled from the UN Commission on the Status of Women on Wednesday after the United States called for its expulsion over Tehran’s “systematic oppression” of women and the violent crackdown on street protests against the Mahsa Amini’s death.
Twenty-nine members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted in favor of a US-proposed resolution calling for Iran’s immediate termination of the commission for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term. Eight members voted against the resolution and 16 abstained.
The resolution, which the United States proposed last month, expressed “serious concern” about Iran’s actions since September “to continually undermine and increasingly suppress the human rights of women and girls, including the right to freedom of expression.” expression and opinion, often through the use of excessive force”, in contradiction with the commission’s mandate, “as well as through the use of lethal force which has resulted in the deaths of peaceful protesters, including women and girls”.
Ahead of the vote, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Iran’s accession had put a “nasty stain” on the commission’s credibility.
“The commission is the primary UN body to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment,” she said. “It can’t do its important job if it’s undermined from within.”
“We can act right now to support women. We can act in direct response to our constituents, the global women’s community,” she said, adding that the Iranian government wanted to “get out” of the vote, “using disinformation and procedural tricks to obscure the truth and avoid some sort of accountability.”
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Amir Saeid Iravani, accused the US of making an “illegal” request and of bullying.
“It is hardly unexpected that the United States is taking such an illegal action against Iran given its long-standing hostility towards the Iranian people, but if carried out, it would be extremely dangerous to the integrity of the United Nations system.” , he has declared.
Iranian state media Nour News, associated with Iran’s National Security Council, was quick to rebuke the country’s expulsion in a post on Chirpingcalling the move “a clear violation of the UN philosophy and its charter, and worse still, the UN Secretary-General, as the custodian of this institution’s credibility, has remained silent.”
Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in September, days after being taken into custody by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly failing to fully cover her hair and violating the country’s strict dress codes. Her death sparked outrage across the country and more than two months of protests.
In the wake of her death, Iranian activists abroad and human rights groups have called on the Biden administration to rally other countries to remove Iran from the UN commission over its response to the protests, which have been led by women Iranian.
Iran, which ranks 143rd out of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s global gender gap index, was voted into the committee by secret ballot. The vote to oust Iran from the commission came days after the country carried out a second known execution of a detained and sentenced prisoner amid nationwide protests challenging the country’s theocracy.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com