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Iran opposes UN investigation into protests

Iran opposes UN investigation into protests

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman wore a gas mask in a reference to Germany's alleged supply of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war as he denounced the UN investigation.

Iran has said it will not cooperate with a United Nations fact-finding mission in its response to ongoing anti-government demonstrations because of what it calls the "political" nature of the investigation. Tehran will not have "any form of cooperation with this political committee which has been established as a fact-finding committee," foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani told reporters during a press conference on Monday.

Last week, Iran announced it had formed a local fact-finding mission, made up of representatives of the government, judiciary, parliament and others, to investigate the "events, riots and unrest" in recent weeks.

According to Kanani, this constituted a "responsible" act by the Iranian state and negated any need for a UN investigation.

"[The UN investigation was] taking advantage of human rights mechanisms to exert political pressure on independent countries," Kanani said.

The UN Human Rights Council voted last week to create a fact-finding mission to investigate possible abuses in Iran's handling of anti-government demonstrations that have erupted across the country. The protests began after the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September, after she was arrested by morality police on suspicion of not adhering to the country's mandatory dress code.

Of the 47-member council, 25 voted in favor of a resolution requiring Tehran to cooperate with the council's special rapporteur on Iran, including granting access to areas inside Iranian territory, such as places where people have been detained.

There were 16 abstentions and six countries – Armenia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan and Venezuela – voted against the measure. The UN has said more than 300 people have died during the protests and around 14,000 have been arrested. Other human rights organizations have given higher figures, but Iran has not released any official report, except to say that more than 50 security personnel were killed.

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