Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s Interview with Maryam Rahmati of Volant Media

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
December 14, 2022


QUESTION: Mrs. Ambassador, thank you so much for doing this interview and congrats on passing this resolution. I want to ask you what impact this resolution is going to have on the Islamic Republic of Iran, and what is the next step that the international community needs to take to support the Iranian people on the ground?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, the resolution sent a very strong message to the (inaudible) that the actions that they are taking on the ground against women in Iran is unacceptable. And as long as they are taking those actions, they’re not going to sit on a commission that was created to protect and support and encourage women. And so, I think it sent a strong message. The fact that the Iranian PR was in the room opposing this meant to me that they are hearing this message loud and clear, and it is our hope that the message will be such that they cease the actions that they’re taking against Iranian women and peaceful protestors.

QUESTION: Mrs. Ambassador, for the past couple of weeks you have been very actively talking about the situation in Iran, the women of Iran, and what the women of Iran have asked the international community and the U.S. government. There is one of their wish came to this resolution passed today. There is another request that the Iranian women, the activists, Iranian people, the Iranian activists, women’s rights activists are asking. And they’re asking the countries to expel the diplomats from their countries, and most of the countries are U.S. allies. How do you think possible – how possible is it to expel Iranian diplomats (inaudible)?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I can’t speak for other countries and how they pursue their diplomatic relations. I know that we want these countries to do everything to communicate in the strongest terms to the Iranian government that what they’re doing is unacceptable. How they do that is up to them.

QUESTION: Javaid Rehman, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Iran, has asked last night in an interview that the international community needs to do more to help Iranian people on the ground, to stop the executions – the execution that is happening. They already have two public executions done by the Islamic Republic. Do you think there is more that needs to be done? Are you agreeing with Javaid Rehman?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, certainly we want the Iranian government to stop public displays of – and any executions of people. And we urge everyone to make sure their voices are heard. Iran heard our voices today in ECOSOC and will continue to hear our voices condemning Iran here in the UN, and they will continue to hear us condemning them bilaterally. And we will continue to work and coordinate with other countries on other actions we might take, including sanctions, as well as actions in the Human Rights Council.

QUESTION: About condemnation, do you think condemnation is enough? And also, you as a woman, not as the U.S. diplomat, representative at the UN, how do you feel when you see these women in the street not being scared from repression, fighting for their fundamental rights?

AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: That’s a great question. I felt a lot of emotions. I was telling my team this morning that I went out to Roosevelt Island to see the “Eyes on Iran” exhibition, and the whole time I was looking at that display I had tears in my eyes because I saw the names of all those arrested, those killed. And I am proud of these women who are able to take a stand – to take a stand for their rights. And that’s why it’s so important that we support them and we sent them the message we sent them today, that we’re here for them.

QUESTION: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.