The White House said Iran faced new demands for accountability after the United Nations voted to remove the country from a panel that promotes women’s rights following its violent crackdown on anti-regime protests.
The Biden administration led an effort to oust Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women in a resolution Wednesday that passed with 29 votes in favor and eight against. There were 16 abstentions.
In a statement, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the “historic vote” was a rebuke to the Iranian government’s “systemic repression of women and girls” as protests continue to roil the country. Demonstrators took to the streets in September after the death of a woman detained by Iran’s morality police.
“This vote is another sign of the growing international consensus on Iran and demands for accountability,” Sullivan said, adding that recent executions in Tehran had strengthened Washington’s resolve to “pursue all possible mechanisms of accountability” against the regime.
He said the United States would seek to “expand this growing consensus.”
Before the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Iran’s membership was an “ugly stain on the commission’s credibility” and that removing Tehran was the right thing to do.
Iran denounced the resolution as “illegal” and was backed by Russia and China, among other countries.
The Biden administration said it is coalescing partners and allies against the Iranian regime for its abuses against its own people, its support for Russia in Moscow’s war against Ukraine, and its destabilizing actions in the Middle East.
The U.S. and its allies have leveled sanctions in response to the violence and Iran’s supply of military equipment to Russia. Sullivan said the Biden administration would maintain its “regular drumbeat” of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear advances.
The White House endorsed Iran’s ouster from the commission, with Vice President Kamala Harris calling it a “victory for those protesting.”
“The unmistakable message is this: the world is listening and taking action,” Harris said in a tweet. “The women and girls of Iran will be heard.”