Iran Receives U.N. Condemnation, U.S. Ultimatum
A U.N. General Assembly committee on Tuesday condemned Iran for what it called “widespread human rights abuses,” a move Iranian Ambassador to the U.N., Mohammad Khazaee, dismissed as politically motivated. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration gave Iran a March deadline to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after which time U.S. diplomat Robert Wood said his government “would urge the board to consider reporting this lack of progress to the U.N. Security Council.” IAEA chief Yukiya Amano admitted his agency has thus far failed to uncover the true nature of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for December 13 in Tehran.
Iranian police accepted partial responsibility for the death of Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died in custody earlier this month. The announcement comes two days after three Iranian labor organizations issued a joint statement demanding that those responsible for Beheshti’s death be brought to justice. There has been much confusion over the circumstances surrounding Beheshti’s death, which has led to a very public display of anger and frustration from opposition figures and politicians alike. Mehdi Davatgari, a member of parliament, claimed the cyber police, known as FATA, held Beheshti illegally overnight without a court order, and called for the “resignation or dismissal of the cyber police chief.”
“The Obama Administration needs a new engagement policy with Iran that brings an end to 33 years of a failed ‘diplomacy plus pressure’ policy,” argued Seyed Hossein Mousavian. It is time for the “administration to offer Iran a ‘grand deal,’ where dual-track diplomacy is supported by constructive actions to prove his sincerity,” Mousavian wrote. “The U.S. and its allies should stop playing catch me if you can (with Iran),” mused Emanuele Ottolenghi and Mark Dubowitz. “Instead, Congress should use its secondary sanctions authority to impose blanket prohibitions on doing any business with Iran’s port, energy, shipbuilding, and shipping sectors,” they said.