A picture from social media purportedly showing an anti-government protest in Abdana in Ilam Province on November 17
Iran has rejected a decision by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to form a fact-finding committee to investigate human rights violations amid a violent crackdown on anti-government protests that erupted over the death of Mahsa Amini.
At a special session initiated by Germany on November 24 at the Geneva-based UNHRC, which has 47 members, the resolution was approved in a 25-6 vote, with 15 members abstaining.
The resolution provides for an independent investigative mission to document human rights violations in Iran in the context of the protests, which erupted in mid-September after the death of a young woman being held by police for allegedly improperly wearing a head scarf.
Tehran has blamed several Western countries of fomenting the protests even though it has not provided any evidence to back up its claim.
Following that narrative, the Foreign Ministry on November 25 rejected the probe as "an anti-Iran move by a small group of Western countries to impose a resolution on the Human Rights Council against Iran."
It added that it would not recognize the mission.
The death of 22-year-old Amini in Tehran on September 16 sparked the wave of unrest now sweeping across the country.
Officials said she died of natural causes, but eyewitnesses and Amini's family say she was beaten after being taken into custody by Iran's notorious morality police.
The government has since launched a brutal crackdown on protesters, especially in the western regions of Iran, where Amini was from.
At least 416 people, including 51 children, have been killed by security forces across the country, according to the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group. At least 83 people have been killed in Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and West Azerbaijan, three provinces with significant Kurdish populations, IHR said.
Despite Tehran's reaction, many countries and human rights groups welcomed the investigation, saying it will facilitate the gathering of evidence of human rights violations that could lead to the prosecution of criminals in international courts.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the United States continues to support the people of Iran "in the face of this brutal repression and work to see to it that those engaged in the ongoing violent suppression are held accountable.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote on Twitter immediately after the UNHRC meeting that "the result is clear: unity for justice, for the people of Iran."