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Iran slams West’s double standards, says maintaining security primary duty

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan'ani addresses a regular weekly press conference in Tehran on November 21, 2022. (File photo by Tasnim News Agency)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has slammed the new wave of “meddlesome” remarks by certain Western governments over the execution of a rioter, saying the West, which itself does not shy away from cracking down on protests, cannot act as a defender of the rights of others.

In a statement on Friday, Nasser Kan’ani condemned the latest meddlesome stances, saying that enforcing the law and establishing public security are two important duties of governments.

“Governments that have resorted to violence to counter peaceful demands of their people and have openly ordered severe crackdowns on protestors have no right to comment on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s measures for enforcing the country’s laws and issuing sentences in a completely legal framework to confront evident violence and maintain public order and security.”

It is among the evident and essential responsibilities of all governments, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, to confront any offenses and efforts to create chaos and insecurity in an effective deterrent manner, said the spokesman, adding that the Islamic Republic acts based on its domestic laws and in the framework of protecting people, security, and public order and preventing crimes. He said Iran is “inherently qualified” to do so.

The remarks came in response to a spur of interventionist comments coming from various European countries and the United States following the execution of Mohsen Shekari in Iran on Thursday. An Iranian court convicted him of ‘moharebeh’, or “enmity against God”, a capital offense. He had attacked and injured a security force during riots in Tehran in September.

This is while the same Western governments have a history of cracking down on protests.

The UK, for instance, ratified a controversial policing bill in April that places new limits on protests as peaceful demonstrators could face new fines of up to 10 years in prison for damaging a statue or memorial. The law came a few weeks after nationwide protests in the UK in the wake of the killing of a young woman at the hands of a police officer. The UK government resorted to the use of force to quash the protests.

West’s claim of defending Iranians’ rights not genuine: Kan’ani

Kan’ani said since the start of recent developments in Iran, Western countries have “violated international laws through explicit and implicit resorting to various meddlesome measures and have incited violence against the Iranian nation under the claim of supporting human rights and/or rights of women.” It is a source of regret that these countries are now claimed to be worried about the security of Iranian citizens, he added.

“Many European governments have directly and indirectly violated legitimate rights of Iranian people, even including their right to life, through abiding by illegal cruel American regime’s sanctions against Iran,” he said, noting that medical sanctions have claimed the lives of many Iranian citizens.

The spokesman was referring to the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US against Iran since 2018 under the so-called “maximum pressure campaign,” which has affected Iranian citizens and their daily lives.

“These countries’ betrayal has been proven to the Iranian people on several occasions and they are in no position to address the Islamic Republic of Iran about maintaining the rights of Iranian people,” Kan’ani said.

The Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes the legitimate right of people to peaceful protests and is committed to respecting the rights of its citizens while also considering providing public security among its main responsibilities, he said.

Foreign-backed riots erupted in mid-September following the death of a young woman in police custody.

According to a statement by Iranian intelligence bodies, foreign terrorists and spy agencies have a key role in the riots, which, according to reports, have claimed the lives of at least 50 members of security forces.

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