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Iran’s top rights official says US no well-wisher of Iranians with sanctions in place

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and the Judiciary chief’s deputy for international affairs (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s top human rights official has strongly denounced the US' dual policy on human rights, stressing that Washington is in no position to comment on the rights of Iranians as it has endangered their lives through crippling sanctions.

Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and the Judiciary chief’s deputy for international affairs, made the remarks on Wednesday in separate meetings with the Belgian and German ambassadors to Tehran, Gian Marco Rizzo, and Hans-Udo Muzel respectively.

He emphasized that the Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to pursue the rights of its citizens, including Mahsa Amini, a young woman who died on September 16 at a hospital a few days after collapsing at a police station in Tehran while receiving educational training on dress code rules.

Gharibabadi noted that different investigative teams were immediately formed by the government, judiciary and the parliament after the news broke out.

“A special medical team, consisting of the heads of the Iranian Forensic Medicine Organization, Medical Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran and representatives of several  medical associations, was set up and tasked with investigating the circumstances surrounding Ms. Amini’s death and reporting their findings in the shortest possible time,” Iran’s rights chief pointed out.

“Unfortunately, some European countries and international human rights organization have hastily and of course in a politicized manner made claims that she was beaten up. Such allegations have been rejected according to preliminary investigations and the Kasra Hospital’s report. The cause of the death is under investigation, and the results will be compiled and published soon,” Gharibabadi said.

He also denounced the United States and certain European countries over their support for recent deadly riots in Iran.

There is "nowhere in the world where violent gatherings, during which cold weapons as well as firearms are awash and public property is damaged, described as peaceful."

“In Iran, hundreds of peaceful rallies and protests are held every year without any problems. However, what has taken place in some Iranian cities over the past few days has been accompanied by violent and terrifying actions, acts of vandalism and damage to public and private property,” Gharibabadi said.

He said, “Rioters incite anyone to confront the police and destroy public and private property. During the gatherings, a great number of public and private property was set on fire or looted; several police officers and ordinary citizens were killed or injured as a result of cold weapons and firearms used by rioters. Banks, automated teller machines (ATMs), ambulances, public transportation vehicles, police cars, fire engines and religious places were widely attacked, destroyed and set on fire.”

Iran’s human rights chief also criticized the positions of some European states concerning recent protests in Iran, saying, “The countries that support and encourage non-peaceful demonstrations and acts of violence are complicit in the damage caused and the blood of innocent people spilled.

He also condemned Washington’s meddlesome actions under the pretext of protecting the human rights of Iranians.

“How can [the United States of] America, which has violated the human rights of millions of Iranians through its sanctions and endangered the lives of many Iranians, claim to be supporting their rights?” Gharibabadi questioned.

Despite Iranian officials’ clarification on circumstances surrounding Amini’s death, violent street protests have led to attacks on security officers and acts of vandalism against public property and sanctities.

Speaking on September 23, Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the riots that have followed Amini's death, had nothing to do with the tragic event, saying that the issue was being exploited by rabble-rousers to instigate chaos and wreak havoc across the country.

Last week, Iranian police released CCTV footage, which shows Amini collapsing in the police station.

The video rejected claims that she was beaten up, denying any physical contact against her.

Dr. Massoud Shirvani, a neurosurgeon, told IRIB TV2 television channel on September 20 that the deceased woman had a brain tumor removed at the age of 8.

“Mahsa Amini was treated with drugs after the surgery under the supervision of an endocrinologist,” the physician said.

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