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Envoy slams West's politicizing of women's right, says 'Iranian women need no caretaker'

A screen grab from video of Iranian diplomat Zahra Ershadi's address to UNSC, on October 20, 2022.

Iranian envoy to the UN has condemned certain Western states for politicizing the issue of women's rights, stressing that Iranian women know how to peacefully engage with government and are in no need of caretaker.

Speaking at Thursday's UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace, and Security, Iran's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi slammed West's efforts to politicize the issue of women's rights in Iran.

"I would like to respond to certain Western countries that have misused this chamber to make unfounded allegation against my country while claiming the support the right of Iranian women," she said.

"We denounce this allegations which are nothing more than a political attempt to politicize women's rights because we see no good faith or genuine in these states' to support Iranian women given their hypocrisy, double standard and selective application of human rights.

Her remarks come as Western countries have voiced support for violent riots that erupted in Iran after a young Iranian girl fainted at a police station and was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Tehran.

The riots has claimed dozens of lives from security forces and innocent people as some elements derailed the protests to attack the establishment. Many Western countries have expressed their support for rioters in acts which Tehran describes as "inciting" violence and hatred.

Regretting the tragic death of Mahsa Amini, the envoy said reports on the circumstance of her death has been shared with member states and UN-affiliated organizations.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization said that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Ershadi went on to note that Iranian women are "well educated" and know how to engage with government. "Iranian women are smart, well educated, dedicated and patriotic and are aware of their rights. They also understand how to engage with the government in a peaceful and constructive manner in order to advance their rights."

"Therefore we advise those Western states that they are not required to act as guardians or caretakers of Iranian women or speak on their behalf," she highlighted.

The envoy also urged Western states to "uphold their international obligations under the UN Charter and respect the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other sovereign states."

Elsewhere, she said that the Islamic Republic of Iran since its establishment "has promoted the cultural, social, economic and political status of women as a key element in its policy making, legislation, and national planning."

Naming women's education in Iran as one of the examples of women empowerment, the envoy said, "Women and girls count for more than half of all university students and currently 73% of medical professionals and 49% of doctors in Iran are female."

Ershadi reaffirmed Tehran's commitment to "respecting, protecting and promoting the human rights of all including women and girls," adding that "no country can claim to be perfect when it comes to human rights or the rights of women and girls" and that Iran strives to improve these rights.

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