March 4 – Iran’s government chose not to vote on a United Nations General Assembly resolution this week denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calling for the immediate withdrawal of military troops.

The resolution was passed after 141 of the 193 member states voted in its favor, while 35 countries including Iran and China abstained. Five countries voted against the resolution, including Russia, North Korea and Syria.

Resolutions are not legally binding but are often used to apply political pressure.

Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Mohsen Baharvand, was dismissed from his post after failing to observe diplomatic protocols, according to hardline Iranian newspaper Kayhan.

Kayhan — which is not affiliated to Kayhan London or Kayhan Life — said video footage of a ceremony at the embassy showed women without hijabs. One woman playing the piano was sitting next to a man playing the violin.

Unveiled women in public places and mixed-gender musical performances are not allowed by the Islamic Republic. The semi official Fars news agency suggested the event had not been in keeping with “the values of the [1979] Islamic Revolution.”

And Tehran said trials for those accused of assassinating Revolutionary Guard commander Qasem Soleimani would start, and would include investigations into former US President Donald Trump and his former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Speaking at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights said Soleimani’s assassination was a “human rights violation” and called US sanctions imposed on Iran “economic terrorism.”

Tehran has been repeatedly criticized by the UN and international human rights organizations for serious human rights violations inside the country and ongoing failures to prosecute government officials responsible for the abuses.

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