“Europe’s and the US’ human rights positions are a political joke”
This article was published on 26 October 2022 on the website of the BNR Horizon programme.
“The protests, which have grown into riots, were triggered by external forces.” This is what H.E. Seyed Mohammad Javad Rasouli, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Bulgaria.
Protests accompanied by riots continue in Iran. Tensions escalated in September following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, three days after she was detained by morality police for improperly wearing a hijab. Protesters blamed law enforcement for her death. The authorities deny these allegations.
“The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes the right to public protest and criticism. Many peaceful gatherings were held and ended even without the presence of police and security forces. At the same time, like any political system in the world, the Iranian Government regards the preservation of territorial integrity, the security of the people and public order as its red line and, from this point of view, distinguishes between ‘protest’ and ‘disorder’.
“What we witnessed after the second day was no longer just a protest but organised disorder and violence. As a result of investigations by the security services, armed terrorist groups were found to be present among the protesters. I ask you, if your security institutions were confronted with actions that violated security and public order, what would they do? According to statistics, last year hundreds of people, including women, were killed as a result of shootings by US police. Have the European Union and European countries taken any action against the United States to uphold and respect human rights? Has the West imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia because of human rights? In my opinion, the positions of Europe and America regarding human rights are a big political joke. European governments, for their political and economic interests, are acting against the security of Iran, which is the only true democracy in the region’.
Social, economic or political are the reasons that have brought the people to the streets?
After the tragic death of a young girl, which wounded the hearts of all Iranians, protests began, especially among the young, which was natural. The economic problems caused by the United States sanctions have also intervened to some extent. What was abnormal, however, was the rapid and organised diversion of this protest movement towards unrest. The reason why chaos and insecurity is being created in Iran is that the enemies of our nation cannot see the country with its independent identity and politics and are trying to use every opportunity to strike. The scale of these protests is known to the Iranian people, and the people have very clearly distanced themselves from the insurgents. The maximum number of participants in protest gatherings was 300 to 400 people in the major cities, while hundreds of thousands of citizens in various cities announced their disagreement with the actions of the insurgents and demanded that the government deal with the elements causing insecurity in the country. The Islamic Republic of Iran has strong public support and is a haven of stability and sustainable security in the region.
The protests in Iran are now being described as some of the most massive in the country since 2019, when discontent over fuel prices arose. Will the authorities listen to the protesters’ voice, address their concerns and become sensitive to their rights, as calls have already been heard from influential figures in the country?
These gatherings have not been as widespread as you say. The maximum number of participants in protest gatherings, as I have already mentioned, was between 300-400 people in the big cities. Therefore, it can be said that the general public did not join the street rally. The policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a ‘listening government’ is to investigate all aspects of the existing protests. The issue of freedom of assembly and protest has been proven in practice in Iran, and in recent years hundreds of trade union and non-union assemblies have been held in various locations, and protesters have been given the right to state their demands without conflict or security problems, and in many cases these demands have been heard and met.
How might the current situation affect the further course of talks to revive the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme and the country’s international relations in general?
One of the reasons for staging the riots was to negatively impact the process of the JCPOA negotiations, which is aimed at putting pressure on Iran to get more concessions from it. Negotiations to lift sanctions have not been removed from our country’s agenda. The problem is the contradictory behaviour and language of US government officials. On the one hand, they are sending messages and conveying their views on reviving the agreement, and on the other, their behaviour and speech does not complement the negotiating process. There are technical grounds and room for reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and returning all parties to it. Now this issue depends on the political decision of the American government, and we can return to it whenever they wish. Of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not waste time with the agreement and will follow its foreign policy.
Photo: The Iranian ambassador in Sofia H.E. Seyyed Mohammad Javad Rassouli (source: YouTube)
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- Acordul nuclear - Ядреното споразумение - Nuclear agreement (JCPOA)
- Drepturi sociale - Социални права - Social Rights
- Feminism și drepturile femeilor - Феминизъм и права на жените - Feminism and women's rights
- Interviuri - Интервюта - Interviews
- Iran - Иран - Iran
- Radio-ul Naţional Bulgar - Българско национално радио - The Bulgarian National Radio
- Traduceri - Преводи - Translations