Iran’s Zarif slams Europe and US for human rights scrutiny | Center East
Iranian FM escalates a war of words between Iran and Europe after criticism.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has made fiery remarks in what appears to be a direct stab against Europe and the United States for pressuring Iran to commit alleged human rights abuses.
Last week, the UK, France and Germany, known collectively as E3, called Iranian ambassadors into their countries for a coordinated diplomatic protest against Iran’s treatment of dual citizenship and political prisoners.
Shortly afterwards, Germany issued a critical statement on Iran on behalf of 47 countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council, while UN legal experts reportedly called for the unconditional release of the imprisoned prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.
On Monday, the last day of the week when Iran annually commemorates the victims of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, which ended in 1988 with the mediation of the United Nations, the Iranian foreign minister tore down these European powers.
“You supported Saddam with $ 75 billion … and now you are making claims?” He said during a ceremony to commemorate those who laid down their lives during the 1980-88 war that began when a then Western-backed Saddam Hussein invaded Iran.
Zarif went on to say that the Iraqi dictator’s supporters gave him planes and chemical weapons to overthrow the newly formed nation.
“Chemical weapons from Germany and the Netherlands were given to Saddam to use against the Iranian people,” said the diplomat and asked: “And now you claim to be civilized?”
“History has not forgotten your crimes. The Iranian people will not forget these crimes. You have participated in crimes against the Iranian nation and are now claiming from [championing] Human rights? You have committed crimes against humanity. “
A number of dual citizens, including the British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and the Franco-Iranian Fariba Adelkhah, are detained in Iran for work against Iranian national security.
European countries claim they are being held arbitrarily, often in harsh conditions for no reason. Iran does not recognize dual citizenship status.
In his speech, the Iranian Foreign Minister also referred to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq by a US drone attack in early January.
“They say you destroyed Daesh, but you tortured Daesh’s number one enemy with ferocity and resentment,” Zarif said of the armed group ISIL (ISIS).
Zarif’s remarks come days after Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also targeted the E3 to summon Iranian ambassadors, describing the move as a deliberate attempt to smear Iran’s human rights record.
“We believe that policies and selective action by the US and a number of European governments have been the most damaging to human rights,” he said.
Khatibzadeh said the E3 move was meddling in Iranian affairs. Iran finds it strange that Europe “not only reacted to the tremendous violation of the human rights of the Iranian nations by the anti-human” maximum pressure “policy of the USA and its cruel and anti-human sanctions, which also make it possible in practice are involved in it through their inaction. “
On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the US of “savagery” over its tough campaign of unilateral sanctions, which have massively affected the Iranian economy.