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Haley Lambasts UN Rights Body For Scheduled Speech Of Iranian Official

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at UN headquarters in New York, U.S., January 2, 2018.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley has released a statement condemning a scheduled appearance at the U.N. Human Rights Council by an Iranian official tied to serious human rights violations.

Seyyed Alireza Avayi is Iran's justice minister but he is accused of having been involved in many deaths and persecution of political opponents for the last three decades.

Haley in her statement said, "Mr. Avayi is responsible for some of the worst human rights violations in Iran, including preventing political freedoms and promoting repression, violence, and extrajudicial killings of political prisoners."

The European Union and Switzerland have separately imposed financial sanctions on Avayi, alleging that as Tehran's former top prosecutor he was "responsible for human rights violations, arbitrary arrests, denials of prisoners' rights, and an increase in executions."

Earlier, Iranian opposition groups and human rights defenders had also criticized the U.N. council for its decision to include Avayi as a speaker.

Haley harshly criticized the UN body. “The Human Rights Council should be ashamed to allow Mr. Avayi to address its membership. Yet again the Council discredits itself by allowing serial human rights abusers to hijack its work and make a mockery of its mandate to promote universal human rights. This does nothing but reinforce the United States’ call for much needed reforms at the Council for it to be viewed as a good investment of our time and money,” said Ambassador Haley.