Position of Islamic Republic of Iran Human Rights Council - The Rights of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People

Position of Islamic Republic of Iran Human Rights Council - The Rights of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People

Historical Context of the Topic:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has a long history of religious culture embedded in its past. At the present time it is estimated that 98% of Iranian citizens are of the Islam faith. As such, following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the legal code in Iran has been firmly based on the Sharīʿah law, a branch of Islamic law. This code deems that relationships of a sexual nature are not permitted outside of heterosexual marriages, as they are considered to be a crime against God. These crimes are punishable in various ways, from public lashings, imprisonment, and the death penalty. These apply not only to homosexuals, but also heterosexual couples who commit the crime of adultery.

The death penalty may be applied to the crime of sodomy; however the accused must confess to the act four separate times or be witnessed by five adult males in order to be convicted. Due to this legal requirement, the only time a death sentence was ever recorded to have been carried out is cases in sodomy rape, pedophilia or child sex abuse cases. In the case of lesbian relationships, this once again must be proved through multiple confessions or the act being witnessed by five men, and the punishment for such as 100 public lashes. The fourth time such a crime is convicted is where the death penalty is to be enforced, however to date this has not been recorded.

Iran has also separated the two issues of sexual orientation and gender identity as it feels that these two issues are very separate and cannot be considered as one entity. Gender recognition of transsexuals is present in Iran, providing that they receive an authorization to receive the gender reassignment surgery. These individuals are then afforded the same rights as if they had been born as a heterosexual or the reassigned gender. They are not classed or identify as being transgender.

Position of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
Under Iranian law, homosexuals are only sentenced to death when their crimes include sodomy, rape, adultery, and pedophilia or child sex abuse. These are considered to be crimes against our God and thus are punishable under Iranian law. Despite this, Iran condemns extrajudicial killings of any nature, even in relation to activities which are outside the law. All illicit activity in Iran is only punished within our internal judicial system. The Islamic Republic of Iran also reserves the right to legislate and enforce our laws without international interference. Our laws are based on the religious and cultural views of the majority of Iranian citizens. The treatment of individuals based on sexual orientation is not protected by any document which has been internationally ratified. Due to this, equality due to sexual orientation is not a universal right, and to control such an aspect of legislation would be culturally divisive in nations such as ours, who are heavily religious. We also recognize the separation between the two issues of sexual orientation, such as homosexuals, and gender identity, such as in the case of transsexuals. The two issues are fundamentally different and thus are considered separate in Iran. Transsexuals are entitled to the same rights as every other Iranian citizen, provided they receive the correct authorization and undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Potential Solutions:
The Islamic Republic of Iran would like to see its right to sovereignty and religious and cultural freedom respected on this matter. To prevent Iran from punishing crimes against the religion of its inhabitants is a gross violation of its right to operate as an independent State. Iran would also like to see a complete cessation of the conjoined nature of the sexual orientation and gender identity issues, recognizing that these are completely separate issues which need to be addressed. Iran also wishes to see an international protection granted to transsexual individuals who have reassignment surgery.

Historical Context of the Topic:
The Islamic Republic of Iran firmly and vehemently denies the existence of a State called ‘Israel’, believing instead that this region of territory is merely Palestine occupied by malevolent forces. Due to this belief, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no diplomatic or economic ties with ‘Israel’. Diplomatic negotiations with Palestinian bodies has resulted in Iran favoring Palestinian national ambitions and has in the past stated its willingness to accept a two-state solution if the Palestinians find it to be an acceptable resolution to the conflict.

Position of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
It is the contention of the Islamic Republic of Iran that the human rights abuse which is occurring in this region cannot be solved without an immediate solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Given that we do not recognize the government of ‘Israel’ as a legitimate body, we cannot condone a solution by which the government of ‘Israel’ continues to solely occupy the State of Palestine. Therefore, the Islamic of Republic of Iran would find a two-state solution more than acceptable on the provision that ‘Israel’ cedes some land, including the city of Jerusalem, to the State of Palestine. Iran also suggests that all Israeli occupied territory is either given back to their respective countries or is replaced with a Palestinian state.

Potential Solutions:
The Islamic Republic of Iran would like to see a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, providing that the State of Palestine deems this to be an acceptable resolution. This is the only solution to the human rights abuses in Palestine. Only when a solution is imposed that sees Palestine internationally recognized, will Islamic Republic of Iran recognize Israel as a true State.