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UNITED NATIONS, New York – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speaking of ‘justice’ and ‘democracy’ as protests outside the UN and in Iran itself call for an end to a regime that many citizens believe does not represent their country.
As protests continue in Iran, Raisi said Iran continues to fight injustice.
“All of humanity’s hopes and aspirations rest on justice, and they have the capacity to create such a framework of global justice, which means the elimination of injustice,” Raisi said. “We are the defenders of a fight against injustice in all its forms, against humanity, against spirituality, against the Almighty, against the peoples of the world.”
Protests have erupted across Iran over the death of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by vice squad for not wearing her hijab (headscarf). Police rushed Amini to hospital shortly after she fell into a coma while in custody, saying she had collapsed. But his family said they saw evidence of beatings.
Amini died three days laterand the police deny that Amini was killed.
But his death sparked protests across Tehran, with hundreds of protesters at Amini’s funeral, and other events from the following two days. Iranian officials reportedly cut internet service for phones and shut down social media, including Facebook, in a bid to contain the protests.
At least five protesters died as police tried to clear the streets.
Raisi, rather than address the crisis at home, attended the 77th General Assembly despite calls from critics and survivors of the 1988 ‘death commission’ for the US to deny Iran’s president a visa to enter the country. He touted the “progress” Iran has made, using his platform to air a number of grievances against other countries.
“The Islamic Revolution in Iran was the beginning of the movement of a great Iranian nation to seek its own place in the world, and over the decades we have faced foreign plots such as coups, oppressive sanctions, as well as hegemonic interventions,” Raisi said, “None of the successes of the Iranian nation have been acceptable to the great powers since the time when the first president of the Islamic Revolution of Iran was appointed.”
But many Iranian citizens do not accept that the current regime has many “successes” to talk about. Protesters in Dag Hammarskjold Park, across from the UN, told Fox News Digital Raisi he was barred from addressing the General Assembly because he does not represent the people. And Raisi was allegedly involved in the death commission, which allegedly killed up to 30,000 dissidents and prisoners.
Commission survivors filled the park on Tuesday with the photos of 2,000 of these victims and told Fox News Digital they saw Raisi and directly blamed him for the deaths of their families and friends.
A protester said Wednesday that everyone in Iran knows “someone” who has fallen victim to the regime.
“Raisi is not the president of the people of Iran, and he is a mass murderer,” said Raha, a Dutch-born Iranian living in the United States. “He is responsible for the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners …and, again, he proved just how awful and monstrous he could be when, in 2019, he put down nationwide protests in Iran.”
Raha said that despite what Raisi said, Iran “does not stand up for justice”.
Haisi, a student who moved to the United States with her family, spoke about the problems faced by her family and her own heartbreaking incident at the age of 13 when she was almost arrested for violating the law on the hijab.
“I was on the street and I was not wearing my hijab properly, so one of the women from the vans came and took my hand and pulled me to the van, and finally I fixed it and everything… But it’s a very common thing that happens in Iran,” Haisi said. “My friends and I have always been afraid of being arrested.
But rather than admit these problems, Raisi instead spent much of his speech deflecting and insisting that other nations must address their own human rights issues before raising issues with the Iran. I quoted the dark history of Canadian residential schools and the deaths of hundreds of First Nations children and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as examples of issues that world powers are “running away from”.
“Of course, the implementation of justice and equity is quite difficult and difficult, and perhaps it is because of this that many who claim to be on the side of peace are shunning the responsibility of peace,” Raisi said. “So we say to them: Since you don’t want to carry the burden on your shoulder, don’t you even want to carry the burden of the struggle against oppression?
Foreign Desk editor Lisa Daftari said it was “not surprising” to see Raisi trying to blame the United States and its allies for so-called “support for terrorism”.
“For someone who goes by the nickname ‘Butcher of Tehran,’ to go to New York and make such accusations while the US and EU delegations sat and listened is truly indicative of the audacity of the rogue Iranian regime. “Daftari told Fox News Digital. . “He is a man who has the innocent blood of his own people on his hands, yet he stands on the podium spouting lies about his belief in human rights for all.”
Daftari noted that Raisi was not defending his own people at all, only the Palestinian people, who he said were victims of Israeli “tyranny”.
“Outside the gates of the UN, something very different was happening,” Daftari said. “Protesters from across the country traveled to New York to protest Raisi’s visit and try to show reporters and other passers-by that the Iranian regime’s brutal crimes, such as the killing of a 22-year-old girl for showing his hair, should not be forgotten instead of a diplomatic speech fabricated inside the UN”
Behnam Ben Taleblu, Senior Researcher at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News Digital that the administration missed a chance in allowing Raisi to come to the United States.
“Not denying Raisi a visa, especially after the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini, was a missed opportunity for the Biden administration to put its money where its mouth is on Iran and human rights. “, said Taleblu.