Friday, 12 Jumada al-awwal 1440 | 2019/01/18
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

News & Comment
Iranian Protests: Nation State Model Perpetuates Insecurity for Smaller States


A few days ago, Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, used the venue to criticize the Iran’s handling of the protesters. Human rights are not the gift of governments; they are inalienable rights of people themselves [1].” She further added, “The Iranian regime is now on notice. The world will be watching what you do [2].”


Taking cue from Trump, Haley’s decision to interfere in Iran’s internal matter was widely questioned by other members of the UN. The French Ambassador Delattre questioned if the protests constituted "a threat to international peace and security" [3]. Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign minister described the US initiative as “harmful and destructive” [4]. In contrast, the Jewish state— the real menace to regional stability—routinely trounces Palestinian human rights with impunity and every UN motion raised to condemn its criminal actions are swiftly vetoed by the US.

America has an awful record in using “human rights” as a pretext to condemn the behaviour of countries like Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. And whenever possible countries like Afghanistan and Iraq are invaded based on America’s penchant for human rights.

Domestically, the US does not give a damn about the contravention of human rights. The terrible treatment meted out by the US government against blacks in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina or more recently the black lives matter protests across America is much worse than human rights abuses found in some third world nations. Incidentally, the US recently spurned Russian efforts at the UN to discuss the unlawful slaughter of blacks in American cities.

America’s callous interference in the internal matters of smaller states contradicts the original principle of the Westphalian nation state model. Within this state system intrusion of one state in the internal affairs of another state is categorially prohibits. Yet history is replete with examples of leading Western states frequently violating this most valuable tenet of the West.

America and other great powers have for too long made a mockery of international law which is underpinned by the principles of the Westphalian state system. Whether it is to hide behind a veto to conceal the abuse on their own domestic turf or to use the veto to intrude militarily in another state’s affairs, the Westphalian model of organizing relations between states no longer guarantees peace for smaller states. The world must act now before America’s belligerence precipitate another great war.

The only alternative to the Westphalian model of statehood, where smaller states can seek refuge from the aggression of today’s great powers is the Islamic system of organizing relations between states. The Islamic state Khilafah (Caliphate) will impose its own international order and offer peace and security to smaller states against the barefaced hostility of great powers.


Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Abdul Majeed Bhatti



[1, 2, 3, 4] Zachary Cohen and Richard Roth, CNN. 2018. "Haley Declares Iran 'On Notice,' But Cracks Show In US, European Approaches To Protests". CNN.

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