The United Nations was founded on Oct. 24, 1945.
Its principles are peace, justice, and the protection of human rights.
As such, the UN has a crucial responsibility to uphold these values in both its actions and decisions.
Keeping these principles in mind, it's deeply troubling that the Islamic Republic of Iran President Ebrahim "The Butcher" Raisi, was granted a platform to address the United Nations General Assembly.
Raisi's record of alleged war crimes and human rights abuses should disqualify him from addressing such a prestigious international body, let alone being granted an entry visa by the United States of America.
Raisi's rise to power is a checkered one: marred by his involvement in the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners in Iran, and his presidency has been marked by a disregard for basic freedoms and the rule of law within Iran.
His regime also reportedly spends hundreds of millions annually funding terrorist groups.
As a member of Iran's "Death Commission," he played a key role in sentencing thousands of individuals to die, many of whom were detained solely for their political beliefs.
He has been referred to as "Butcher of Tehran" due to his alleged involvement in the mass executions of political prisoners in Iran in 1988.
Additionally, the descriptor "Butcher of Tehran" is used by some to emphasize his alleged role in these executions and the brutality associated with them.
This dark chapter in Iran's history saw the extrajudicial killings of thousands of political prisoners, many of whom were affiliated with opposition groups, following a fatwa (religious decree) issued by then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini.
The multiple allegations against Raisi continue to serve as a source of controversy and criticism — both within Iran, and globally.
While Raisi denies any wrongdoing, the full extent of his involvement remains a subject of debate and investigation.
Raisi's Iran has also cracked down on dissidents, silenced free speech, and continued to support regional proxy groups, those with a track record of violence and destabilization.
These actions threaten the stability of the Mideast, and they concurrently undermine those values that the United Nations purportedly seeks to promote.
Concurrently, international diplomacy and efforts to address these concerns, including sanctions and negotiations, have been ongoing for years, but the situation remains complex and highly contentious.
This writer has long maintained support for a maximum pressure/maximum sanctions campaign against the leaders of the Islamic Republic.
It's not a question of diplomacy or engagement, it's rather a question of principle.
The UN has betrayed the principles upon which it was founded, and it has failed to hold accountable those responsible for serious violations of international law.
The UN's reputation as a guardian of global peace and stability is now tarnished.
The global community should have stood firmly in its commitment to justice and human rights by denying Raisi a megaphone at the United Nations, but we now know they didn't.
This means Raisi's regime has now been legitimized.
The Iranian people deserve the support and solidarity of the global community in their struggle for basic human rights and freedoms, and that support must also clearly emanate from the UN itself!
The United Nations must resume upholding its own principles and standards by refusing to provide a platform to any leader accused of war crimes and human rights abuses.
Allowing Raisi to address the United Nations sends the wrong message, a dangerous one: that the international community is willing to overlook alleged war crimes and gross violations of human rights for the sake of diplomatic expediency.
Worse, that "wrong message," has been lobbed directly at those Iranians struggling for freedom.
Bryan E. Leib is the Executive Director of CASEPAC, the nation's only Federal PAC dedicated to combating Antisemitism everywhere. Formerly, he served as the Executive Director for Iranian Americans for Liberty and in 2018, he was a GOP Endorsed Congressional Candidate (PA-03). He tweets at @BryanLeibFL. Read More Bryan E. Leib Reports — Here.
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