Iran’s Foreign Minister attends UN and ICRC meetings in Geneva

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian arrived in Geneva on Monday for meetings with UN officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Iranian Mehr news media reported that “Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is visiting the Swiss city of Geneva to attend the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).” He will be giving a speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Iran’s regime has often been able to hijack UN human rights discussions in order to attack Israel and deflect from the crimes of its own regime.

According to Iran’s Tasnim News, Amirabdollahian met with Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross. In the meeting the top Iranian diplomat thanked the ICRC for its efforts “regarding Palestine and Gaza.” The ICRC has not met with any of the hostages in Gaza and has not pressed to meet with them since the Hamas attack on October 7.

Nor has the ICRC helped bring medical support to the hostages. However, the ICRC has met with the Iranian regime. Tasnim News claimed that the head of the ICRC “expressed her concern for the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, thanking the political efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran to help end the war.” Iran helped cause the war in Gaza and has flooded the region with weapons that cause war, and yet it was also thanked by the ICRC for its “effort.”

Iran, which backs Hamas and supported the October 7 massacre in Israel by Hamas, now says that it wants to see political efforts to end the “Gaza crisis.” Iran caused the crises in Gaza and now claims that “the situation in northern Gaza as very dire” and the Iranian diplomat claimed that “more than 600,000 residents of northern Gaza are suffering from hunger.” Iran has exported weapons to Hamas over the years, fueling conflicts in Gaza which cause hunger among the population, and then Iran discusses that hunger at meetings at the UN.

The Iranian foreign minister made other comments about Gaza and the Palestinians. He claimed that “the leaders of the Palestinian groups are considering democratic methods and a political agreement between all Palestinian groups and currents to manage the post-war Gaza. In this way, support is a democratic method.” It was not clear what “democratic” means in this context. The Iranian regime, which suppresses protests and human rights, also views itself as having “democratic” elements. In this context “democratic” may mean advancing Hamas interests in the West Bank.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian meets with Hamas’s top leader, Ismail Haniyeh in Doha, Qatar December 20, 2023 (credit: IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTRY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Amirabdollahian condemns Gaza casualties, but praises Hamas “resistance”

Iran is also concerned that Israel may launch an operation in Rafah along the border with Egypt. This can “deepen the dimensions of this disaster and face a very serious threat to the 1.4 million displaced Palestinians living in Rafah,” the Iranian foreign minister claimed. At the same time that he talked up suffering in Gaza, Iran also praised the Hamas “resistance” and described it as “powerful.”

Iran says it is involved in pushing for an “end” to the war in Gaza. Amirabdollahian “also thanked the help and efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the investigation of the Iranian martyrs of the imposed war and, referring to the hope of the families of the missing, requested the continuation of the committee’s support for the investigation process,” Tasnim News said.

Images of the meeting at Tasnim news appeared to show members of the ICRC smiling while speaking to the Iranian regime members. According to Tasnim News the head of the ICRC “expressed her concern for the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, thanking the political efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran to help end the war.”

According to the report the ICRC is mobilizing “facilities in order to send humanitarian aid to Gaza.” The ICRC did not mention the hostages held in Gaza. At the end of this meeting the Iranian regime presented the ICRC with some kind of list of “martyrs” to be “placed in the museum of the ICRC,” according to the report. It remains unclear why the ICRC appears to value the Iranian regime and its input on a war it helped cause in Gaza, or why it receives praise from the ICRC and accepts items from the regime.

According to Tasnim news the Iranian diplomat will “meet with other foreign ministers of some participating countries as well as the high officials of the United Nations will be among the other programs of the foreign minister of our country in this trip.”