UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed has cast doubt about the legitimacy of last week’s Iranian presidential election, despite the fact that congratulatory messages poured in from across the world on the Iranian nation’s high turnout.
“Friday’s elections served as a lost opportunity for Iran to have its next administration enjoy great legitimacy,” Shaheed told Spain’s state television. “It was neither free, nor fair.”
Iranians elected reformist Hassan Rohani president on June 14 in what many analysts called a clear demonstration of democratic values by one of the world’s oldest civilizations. The turnout was an impressive 72.7 percent.
World leaders congratulated the Iranian nation and the president-elect, saying they respect the results of the election. The Israeli prime minister and the UN special rapporteur were the only high-profile critics of the election.
“Iranians vote for their president and elect him through direct vote, and the country still gets accused by the West, while people in pro-Western Arab states of the Persian Gulf region have no idea what elections look like and their leaders get away with it,” journalist and commentator Alireza Mohammadi told Press TV on Tuesday.
“The West needs to understand that Iran is different, Iranians are different, and… they cannot treat Iranians like they treat other nations. Iranians have something in their DNA that most others lack: they have over 6,000 years of documented history and the world’s first-ever charter of human rights,” he added.
Shaheed, who formerly served as the Maldivian foreign minister, has harshly criticized Iran’s human rights record since 2011, when he was appointed to the post of UN special rapporteur. Iran has rejected his allegations, saying Shaheed has largely based his information on testimony by members of organizations on international terrorist lists, such as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).
“Mr. Shaheed has been taking revenge on Iran simply because he has not been allowed into the country, as Iran has exercised its right, under the UN rules and regulations, by rejecting him as special rapporteur,” Mohammadi noted.
By Press TV
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