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Iran committed to promoting women’s rights despite US sanctions: Envoy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Zahra Ershadi, Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations

Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations has reiterated the country’s commitment to empowering women and promoting their rights despite the hurdles created by the illegal US sanctions.

Speaking at a UN Security Council debate on women, peace and security, Zahra Ershadi said Tehran acknowledges that there is always room for improvement in terms of protecting and promoting women’s rights.

“We continue to work to empower Iranian women and girls and to ensure that their rights are upheld while actively taking into account the concerns voiced by our women and girls. This is one of our top priorities, and we’ll endeavor to make progress in it,” she said.

“Despite facing challenges, such as the inhumane unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, Iran remains committed to promoting women's rights and has made significant progress in empowering women.”

The Iranian envoy also said that armed conflicts have devastating and disproportionate effects on women and girls, who are often the main victims of violence, displacement, and human rights abuses.

The international community, she went on, should use diplomacy and dialogue in order to find political solutions to conflict hotspots and engage women in all stages of the peace process.

During Tuesday’s debate, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield claimed that women and girls in Iran, among other places, are facing violence. Some Western countries also echoed the allegation.

Ershadi said Iran categorically rejects unjustified references made to Iran at this meeting by certain member states.

“Iranian women are active in various fields, including science, education, and politics, and play a crucial role in society,” she said.

She also raised concerns about the restrictions imposed on women by Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban government.

Ershadi warned that the Israeli regime is endangering the security of Palestinian women through occupation and siege.

She noted that some countries selectively apply international law and human rights to advance their political interests, and use UN platforms to push their agenda while remaining silent when it comes to the human rights violations and atrocities committed against Palestinian women and girls by the Israeli regime.

“It is concerning that these certain states shamelessly support the Israeli regime’s apartheid policies as self-defense while disregarding the suffering and oppression of Palestinian women. Such political approaches can erode the credibility of the UN,” the envoy noted.

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