Ahmad Shaheed

Ahmad Shaheed, the United Nations special rapporteur for Iran, has called on the Islamic Republic to grant him permission to travel to Iran to investigate allegations of human rights violations.

Shaheed, who began his official duties as the UN’s human rights investigator for Iran on August 1, expressed hope that Iran would regard his assignment as a "safe and legal" opportunity to address international concerns regarding the human rights situation in Iran.

In recent months, following numerous reports of human rights violations in Iran, the UN National Assembly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well the the UN Secretary General have expressed concern over human rights in Iran.

Finally, in March, the United Nations appointed Shaheed, a former Maldives foreign minister, as the special human rights rapporteur for Iran. Shaheed is supposed to deliver his first reports to the United Nations in September.

Iranian authorities have rejected accusations of human rights violations and insisted they will not welcome the UN investigator.

Over the past two months, however, human rights activists have welcomed the appointment of the special rapporteur for Iran and have written him to ask that he investigate the treatment of Iranian prisoners, the crackdown on dissidents and the persecution of religious minorities.

Shaheed has said he will collaborate with Iranian civil organizations in preparing his report.