Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Official Documents

Confidential Letter of Ali Shamkhani to Khamenei and Raisi Suggesting Measures to Prevent the UN Fact-Finding Mission

Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme Security Council
"Ghyamsarnegouni" - People's Mojahedin of Iran Organization
November 8, 2022
Official document

The blessed leader of the Islamic Revolution

His Excellency Grand Ayatollah Khamenei

His Excellency Hojatol-ol-eslam Dr. Rai’si

President and Chairman of the Security Council


SUBJECT: Proposed measures to prevent the formation of the fact-finding committee at the special session of the Human Rights Council


With peace and respect,

It has been confirmed a special extraordinary session of the Human Rights Council will take place to discuss recent incidents in Iran (November 21-25), and this will likely result in the formation of a “fact-finding committee.” I will outline the consequences of the forming of such a committee, as well as the means to prevent its formation.


A: Consequences of the formation of the fact-finding committee

A fact-finding committee is a body that up until now has only been created for countries during armed conflicts, such as Libya, Sudan, or Syria; therefore, creating such a thing over human rights issues is unprecedented, and will be a crisis for the Islamic Republic of Iran; a further result of this would be the appointment of a Special Rapporteur (in addition to the political and legal consequences). The overarching aim of these committees is to determine the blame of governments (gross violations of human rights, its causes and factors) and the procedures of these committees until now are: First, submitting the names of human rights violators confidentially to the Human Rights Council and secondly; advising the Security Council to have the International Criminal Court deal with the crimes of the mentioned persons (even for countries that aren’t members of the ICC). It seems that, with the absence of armed conflict in Iran, the second procedure will not be used, but determining the perpetrators of human rights violations will be suitable grounds for legitimizing sanctions against officials.


B: Some suggestions for preventing the formation of an international fact-finding committee

1- Invite the Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” to visit Iran

Given that, first, the head of the Human Rights Council said to the Iranian delegation in Geneva that if the Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” or the Special Rapporteur on “Violence against Women” was allowed to visit Iran, the possibility exists that the formation of a fact-finding committee would be voted down. (and he has promised to make efforts in this direction) Second, inviting the Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” would be less of a risk than inviting the Special Rapporteur on “Violence against Women.” (Women’s rights are based on Shari’a principles, and there are many cases where the possibility of fairness doesn’t exist) For these reasons, we should invite the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Peaceful Assembly to visit Iran to prevent the formation of a fact-finding committee. Afterwards, we can ask the sponsoring nations of such a resolution whether they approve or not. It seems appropriate to:

Invite the Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly.” First, the move came from our country. Second, it will be perceived as a positive interaction with the Human Rights Council. Third, it is possible to manage his travel schedule, delay dates, manage visit plans, and even accept some final recommendations from the Special Rapporteur (such as reforming some minor laws). However, the determinations of a fact-finding committee are first; imposed on us after a time of troubles. Second; rejecting the fact-finding committee’s request to travel to Iran will be perceived as a lack of cooperation with the Human Rights Council. Third, the fact-finding committee will receive all of its information from our opponents and this will give them unprecedented opportunities to disseminate their views.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” is limited to one issue, though there is the possibility he could enter into other issues, such as violence against women. However, the resolution creating a fact-finding committee will grant it the mandate from the very beginning to investigate all human rights issues related to the recent events and some experts believe the possibility exists that the committee’s mandate could be extended to cover the events of the 1980s.

The official policy on not having contacts with Javid Rehman – Special Rapporteur for this country – inviting Special Rapporteurs whose mandates are limited to one issue (they also won’t accept), such as the Special Rapporteur against sanctions, allows us to utilize the powers of their positions and also prevent the extension of the mandates of country-specific special rapporteurs, limiting the remit of special rapporteurs to specific issues, such as clean drinking water and food. Even if recent events hadn’t occurred, the possibility of inviting other special rapporteurs was already on the agenda, and the special rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” was given priority due to the lesser amount of possible consequences resulting from such a visit.

Certainly, bad things can come from the Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” but note: 1. We hold several thousand peaceful gatherings without incident throughout the year in all parts of the country and 2. With the numerous documents (including pictures, meetings with the victims of the riots) showing the involvement of foreign governments and terrorist groups in turning peaceful gatherings into places of criminal acts, this can be used as an opportunity to expose the unfortunate approach and the crimes of the Westerners, and present the achievements of the system. Usually, however, fact-finding committees never note any positive points.


Plan of action (Step by Step)

The Foreign Ministry, in its discussion with European countries such as Germany or Poland, can ask whether or not inviting the Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” will result in cancelling the special session, or the cancellation of the resolution proposing the fact-finding committee.

If there’s a positive response from the Human Rights Council session, an official invitation to the Special Rapportetur on the “Right to Peaceful Assembly” will be extended, for a time after the session. (if the fact-finding committee isn’t formed) (one must consider the backstabbing promise-breaking of the Western countries) If the Western countries insist on an invitation for the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, we will promise to consider it.


2- Suggested measures regarding the Interior Ministry’s Investigation Committe

Given that that the most important excuse offered for creating an international fact-finding committee is the claim that there is no independent investigation committee in Iran and that there is a lack of punishment or accountability for officials who committed violations during the recent events, it is necessary to create an internal investigation committee. However, it’s effectiveness in preventing the formation of an international body depends on the following.

A Committee must be created under the supervision of the Vice President for Legal Affairs, the Justice Ministry or the Human Rights Headquarters

Given that the Interior Ministry is responsible for the recent events and must be held to account, and also the fact that if the committee were created under it, it would have no authority in the international arena. Therefore, with the proviso that this should not receive public-opinion forming media coverage, the committee should be formed under the Human Rights Headquarters, or a government agency such as the Vice Presidency for Legal Affairs, or the Justice Ministry.

Academics or people from NGOs should form the committee’s membership, and the media should broadcast its proceedings

Provide a report on handling complaints against agents and paying compensation to victims before the Human Rights Council session


3 - Announce the acceptation of the explanation by the members of the Human Rights Council based on the creation of a national human rights organization

Considering the obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran after the 2010 UPR conference of the Human Rights Council to create a national human rights organization, and subsequent demands from countries that we do so, if the Supreme Security Council agrees, we can create a national human rights organization, inform the members of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council - especially the countries that had proposed a national human rights organization to Iran – (when considering the role that a national organization can play in the investigation of recent events, it is not important), but since institutions such as the Human Rights Headquarters, the Foreign Ministry, and the Intelligence Ministry, despite agreeing with the principle of establishing a national organization, have concerns about the security consequences of its formation in the form of a commission consisting of non-governmental members, it is suggested that at the current stage, a trusted person must be appointed and announced as a special representative or assistant to the president in the field of human rights with appropriate powers for this task. (Similar to the Russian Human Rights Commission, which is accepted as a national organization by the United Nations)


4- Begin court trials of incompetent or guilty agents before the Human Rights Council meeting

Holding court hearings to deal with people's complaints against officials at the same time as the trials of the rioters, regardless of whether government officials are convicted or imprisoned, can show the system’s determination to deal with charges against officials and remove the excuses for creating a fact-finding committee. Currently, a case regarding the killing of an 18-year-old (with a shotgun) has been submitted to the Armed Forces Justice Organization, which can be expedited.


5- Extensive interaction at the presidential level with counterparts of Council member countries, such as China, Brazil, Venezuela

Looking at the membership of the Human Rights Council, the presence of aligned countries such as China, Brazil, Venezuela, Asian countries such as Qatar, the UAE, Malaysia, as well as some African and Latin American countries with voting records of support for the resolutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is necessary to work with the countries aligned with us to get the proposal for forming the committee voted down.


6- Present scandalous reports about false information provided by human rights organizations

Some people under 18 years of age whose names were listed as children killed during the riots in reports submitted to the United Nations and the Committee on the Rights of the Child, actually died accidentally, breathing gas etc.


Ali Shamkhani