Canada to host meeting on Iran with women foreign ministers from around the world


Many of the world’s female foreign ministers will discuss the “brutal” crackdown on protesters in Iran in a virtual meeting this week hosted by Canada, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement on Wednesday. .

Joly and 14 others will meet virtually Thursday at 8 a.m. ET to address the unrest sparked by the death last month of Iranian Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Tehran vice police. The incident was the flashpoint of one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

“My counterparts and I will come together to send a clear message: the Iranian regime must end all forms of violence and persecution against the Iranian people, including its brutal attacks on women in particular,” Joly said. .

“Canada will continue to support brave Iranians who are fighting for their human rights and defending their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. Women’s rights are human rights,” she said.

The foreign ministers of Germany, Chile, New Zealand and Norway are among the 14 who will join Canada, a government source said. France will join the call, but Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna will not be able to, the source said.

During the meeting, the officials will hear from women of Iranian descent and discuss the situation of women’s rights and human rights in Iran, Joly’s office said, adding that it would give them the opportunity to coordinate their efforts. and to discuss “ways to increase their collective support for the Iranian people.”

Canada has joined other countries, including the United States, in imposing sanctions on Iran.

Although the current unrest does not seem close to toppling the Iranian government, the situation has raised international concerns as talks over Iran’s nuclear capabilities appear to have stalled and Tehran has decided to support the Russian invasion. in Ukraine in defiance of the West.

Iran has accused countries that expressed support for the protests of interfering in its internal affairs.

The attention to Iranian women continued on Wednesday as mountaineer Elnaz Rekabi, who sparked controversy by competing in an international event without a head covering, returned to Iran.

Amini, from Iran’s Kurdistan region, died on September 16 after being arrested three days earlier by vice squads in Tehran for her “inappropriate dress”.

Iranian religious leaders have tried to portray the unrest as part of a dissident uprising by the Kurdish minority threatening the unity of the nation, rather than a protest against clerical rule.

Other countries expected to attend the meeting are Albania, Andorra, Central African Republic, Chile, Iceland, Kosovo, Libya, Liechtenstein, Mongolia and Panama.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alex Richardson and Bill Berkrot)