Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on an Interactive Dialogue with Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the

Ambassador Richard Erdman
Senior Advisor for the Middle East
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 24, 2018


We are grateful for the late Asma Jahangir’s lifetime of service advocating for universal human rights. Her work to show the true face of the Iranian regime will not be forgotten, and we look forward to Mr. Rehman continuing this great work.

We urge the Iranian government to allow Mr. Rehman to conduct visits to Iran with unrestricted access as part of his mandate of documenting the human rights situation within Iran.

We strongly condemn the Iranian government for its forceful crackdown on nationwide protests beginning in December 2017. As noted in Ms. Jahangir’s final report, the government’s response included arrests of thousands of peaceful protestors and reports of mistreatment and suspicious deaths in custody.

The United States is concerned by the Iranian government’s continued detention of approximately 800 individuals who are currently languishing in Iranian prisons for exercising their fundamental freedoms. These political prisoners in Iran are singled out for particularly harsh abuse and torture, and investigations of suspicious “suicides” always reach remarkably similar conclusions—absolving security officials of blame and smearing victims as “drug addicts.”

The United States also remains deeply concerned about the dire lack of religious freedom in Iran, including the continued repression of members of recognized and unrecognized religious minorities. The Iranian government continues to discriminate against Baha’is.