An Iranian lawmaker lambasted the United Nation’s special human rights monitor in Iran on Saturday, accusing him of being an agent for both American and Israeli intelligence.
Earlier this month, special rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed filed a report with the UN Human Rights Council blasting Tehran’s faltering human rights record, and its “lack of adherence to the rule of law as well as a failure to investigate complaints and to bring human rights violators to justice.”
MP Seyyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying, “All fair and independent human rights bodies are well aware that Shaheed works as an agent for the Zionist regime and also the CIA.”
He said Iran was “familiar with the man’s character,” Fars reported, without elaborating on what Hosseini meant.
Shaheed is a former Maldivian foreign minister who was elected to the UN post almost three years ago.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Hosseini charged Shaheed with compiling his reports to the United Nations based on information he receives from the Mossad and a leftist Iranian revolutionary group known as the Mojahedin-e-Khalq.
Hosseini has previously charged that international sanctions against the Islamic Republic violated human rights.
Hosseini’s virulent allegations came a day after the Human Rights Council expressed concern that Iran had, despite small improvements, made grave human rights violations over the past year. The UN body also extended Shaheed’s mission by one more year, a move which Hosseini charged “serves to gain time to level yet more accusations again Iran.” The Human Rights Council called on Iran to grant Shaheed access to the country, a measure it has heretofore refused to permit.
“Shaheed is the only one among these rapporteurs who repeatedly gets reinstated every time his time of service ends,” Hosseini said, and called for Shaheed’s replacement.
During the council’s meeting Friday, both Shaheed and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke about Iran’s use of torture and executions, oppression of women and minorities, and imprisonment of journalists and human rights activists as examples of its human rights violations.
Iran’s envoy to the UN human rights body, Mohsen Naziri Asl, also attacked Shaheed and his “baseless allegations” against the Islamic Republic, adding that he was trying to create a rift between Tehran and other countries.