US moves to remove ‘unfit’ Iran from UN women's commission

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Vice President Kamala Harris vowed Wednesday that the United States would work to remove Iran from a UN body on women's rights as she saluted the “bravery” of women-led protests against the clerical state.

Harris said that the United States would work with other nations to oust Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, whose members are elected to four-year terms.

“Iran has demonstrated through its denial of women's rights and brutal crackdown on its own people that it is unfit to serve on this Commission,” Harris said in a statement.

“Iran's very presence discredits the integrity of its membership and the work to advance its mandate,” she said.

Iran is witnessing some of the most significant protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the wake of the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who had been detained by the notorious “morality police” that enforces strict codes on women's dress.

“To all of those protesting I say again, we see you and we hear you. I am inspired by your bravery, as are people around the world,” Harris said.

The United States and European allies have imposed a series of sanctions on Iran over the protests and worked to help restore internet access disrupted by authorities.

Nations on the women's commission are elected by the UN Economic and Social Council, whose members in turn are voted on by the General Assembly.

Iran, ruled by Shia Muslim clerics, was elected to a term that ends in 2026. The United States is serving through next year.

Other nations on the body include Afghanistan although the country is not represented at the United Nations by the Taliban, who stormed back to power last year and have banned women from government jobs and forbidden secondary education for girls.

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