(Photo credit: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
On 24 November, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani revealed that the Islamic Republic has formed a panel under the interior ministry to investigate the deaths caused by ongoing protests.
Bagheri Kani made the announcement during a diplomatic visit to India, where he also revealed that at least 50 members of the security forces have been killed and hundreds have been injured as a result of street violence gripping Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini in mid-September.
The Iranian official did not provide further details about the investigative panel.
His announcement came on the heels of the judiciary issuing several more death sentences against “rioters” who were allegedly found guilty of “killing or injuring security forces, damaging public property, and endangering national security,” according to the state-run Mizan News Agency.
As of 24 November, at least six people have been sentenced to death by Iran’s courts in relation to the street unrest. No official data has yet been released on the number of ordinary civilians who have died in Iran’s protests and riots since 16 September, nor are there any details on how they were killed.
In response to this, the UN Human Rights Council is set to debate appointing new investigators for Iran to document state abuses during an urgent session in Geneva called forth by Germany and Iceland.
The motion was backed by 17 out of 47 members of the Human Rights Council, including the US, the UK, and France. It will also mark the first time the council convenes to discuss Iran.
The new investigators would have a mandate separate from the UN special rapporteur on Iran, Javaid Rehman, who has been denied access to the country after being accused of “politicizing” the situation of human rights in Iran and issuing biased reports.
Over the past several months, Iran has blamed foreign powers for conducting coordinated destabilization attempts that include fueling violence on the streets, arming separatists militias, and deliberately spreading misinformation in a heavy-handed attempt to push for regime change.
These attempts include deploying intelligence assets posing as human rights activists who are urging western nations to expand ruthless economic sanctions and to “downgrade their diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic, to kick out all their diplomats, and put the Islamic Revolutionary Guards on the terrorist list.”
Western media has also played an instrumental role by distorting facts and exclusively citing arrest and death figures provided by compromised institutions like the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), which receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA soft-power front.