The government of Iran has this week denied access to the country to a United Nations human rights rapporteur who was scheduled to visit for a special investigation earlier this month.
Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, who previously raises concerns over the human rights record of the nation, was denied access to the country by Iranian authorities who claimed that his previously reports had been biased against the country.
“We have expressed strong opposition to his trip to Iran, his appointment to the post and his methods” stated the Secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights. The council went on to accuse Dr. Shaheed of anti-Iranian sentiment and of cooperating with Iran’s ‘enemies’. Shaheed was appointed to the position in 2011 by the UN, but Iran claim his instalment came after strong pressure from the United States and other Western states.
Iranian authorities later noted that they are open to visits by independent rapporteurs, but that Shaheed’s previous reports on human rights proved him to be biased and unreliable. The UN however continue to support Shaheed, who they view as a reliable source.
The news of Iran’s disagreement with Shaheed marks a further lack in cooperation between Iran and Western nations that has raised concerns over the future relations between Iran and Western powers.