New Zealand Foreign Minister: With Iran’s denial of basic human rights, there is no dialogue

The New Zealand government suspended its official bilateral human rights dialogue with Iran, saying bilateral approaches “were no longer viable” with Iran denying basic human rights.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaya Mahuta said – in a note – that the decision to suspend the dialogue sends a strong message that bilateral approaches to human rights cannot be defended, with Iran denying fundamental human rights and violently cracking down on protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, 22 years, after the police arrest, his morale due to clothes he considered inappropriate.

“Violence against women and girls or any other member of Iranian society to prevent them from exercising universal human rights is unacceptable and must stop. This is clearly a difficult time for the Iranian people,” Mahuta said.

New Zealand and Iran entered into dialogue in 2018 with the stated aim of promoting human rights issues. The first round of talks was held in 2021 and the next is scheduled for late 2022. New Zealand officials confirmed last week that two New Zealand nationals who had been held in Iran had been released for several months and were safe. On Wednesday, the New Zealand government also updated its travel advisories for Iran, urging New Zealanders currently present to leave.