The United Nations 45-member Commission on the Status of Women on Wednesday ejected Iran from the body in response to the country’s deadly crackdown on nationwide anti-government protests.

Iran was removed by a majority vote with a number of countries voicing alarm over the death of Mahsa Amini and the Islamic Republic’s violent crackdown against rights protesters.

Amini died in police custody following her arrest for not wearing hijab the right way, leading to violent protests.

Some 29 countries voted in favour of a motion to remove Iran from the commission, eight countries, including Nigeria, China and Russia voted against the move, while 16 abstained. It is the first time a country would be removed from the commission.

The US, Israel, Canada, Japan and a number of European nations voted in favour of Iran’s removal while Nigeria, Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Zimbabwe, Oman, Nicaragua and Bolivia voted against it. India, Tunisia, Indonesia and 13 others abstained.

Russia, which is cooperating with Iran in its invasion of Ukraine, attempted to stall the vote with a procedural objection but was voted down.

“Each state has not only the right but the obligation to maintain public order,” Russia’s envoy says of the protest crackdown, accusing Western states of hypocrisy.

“Did we meet regarding the membership of the United States on the commission after the wave of violence and vandalism following the death of George Floyd?” he says.

China also accuses the commission of “bullying, hypocrisy and double standards.”

Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan speaks out against Iran’s Middle East terror activities and urges an end to nuclear negotiations.

“This regime’s destructive nature cannot be changed,” he says. “This is a regime that doesn’t care about its people, it only cares about its own survival.”

He expresses support for Iranian rights protesters, saying the protesters’ motto, “Women, life, freedom,” in Farsi. We Israelis salute their bravery and view ourselves as true allies of the Iranian people,” he says.

On the eve of a vote to expel the Islamic Republic from the UN women’s commission, leaked documents revealed a behind-the-scenes campaign to stop the move.

According to some documents obtained by Iran International, the Iranian regime exerted pressure on academic figures to send letters to numerous global bodies to urge them to vote against the move. Among the documents is an official letter from an advisor of the head of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad to her colleagues with a list of emails of UN missions and a list of points to be mentioned in the correspondence by the professors.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

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