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Iran FM’s Geneva trip demonstrated failure of West’s anti-Iran project

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian addresses the 52nd regular session of the Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva, on February 28, 2023. (Photo by Iran’s Foreign Ministry)

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian's visit to Geneva this week to attend the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council again demonstrated the abject failure of the West's anti-Iran project.

The high-profile visit came after months-long West-backed riots in Iran triggered by the death of an Iranian girl in mid-September, which was accompanied by a heavy propaganda campaign and harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Prior to the top Iranian diplomat's visit to the Swiss city that houses the UN Office, the anti-Iran brigade was busy with their untiring propaganda campaign to undermine the visit and turn the atmosphere hostile, including by calling for a boycott of his speech at the Human Rights Council.

In his address at the Council on Monday, Amir-Abdollahian slammed the United States and some of its Western allies for using human rights bodies, including the UN itself, as a foreign policy instrument to advance their political agenda against Iran.

He asserted that the US is not in a position to criticize the Islamic Republic over its human rights record while being the biggest human rights violator. 

“The United States alone is responsible for the bulk of systematic and grave human rights violations as it ranks number one in terms of military aggressions and interventions, coup d’états, and economic embargoes against other countries," Amir-Abdollahian said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian addresses the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 27, 2023. (Photo by Iran's Foreign Ministry)

Iran's foreign minister further said the "cruel" US sanctions against his country show West's support for the Iranian people smacks of hypocrisy.

“That’s sheer hypocrisy to advocate for the human rights of Iranians while depriving the same people of their basic rights to health, to education, and to life."

Amir-Abdollahian also touched on the recent unrest and riots, saying violent elements murdered many people with firearms and cold weapons, including 95 security personnel, and left many public and private properties destroyed or damaged.

“No responsible state could let the public security and order be compromised by violent and lawless behavior,” he stressed, questioning the Western states for their overt and covert support for the deadly unrest.

The Iranian minister said the role of anti-Iran terrorist groups in the riots was “evident and substantiated”, yet some European states engaged in “terrorism laundering” and provided financial and logistical support to violent elements.

He further noted that respect for human rights and human dignity is a core value deeply rooted in Iran’s national tradition and embedded in the religious beliefs of Muslims while pointing to achievements made by Iranian women in different arenas since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

Amir-Abdollahian said that Iranian women have made “eye-catching progress and achievements” in various areas, including science, and this shows how “dynamic” Iranian women are. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian meets with Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib on the sidelines of the 52nd regular session of the Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva, on February 28, 2023. (Photo by IRNA news agency)

“Wrong assessment of riots”

During his stay in Geneva, Iran's top diplomat held a series of meetings with his counterparts from other countries, including those who supported the months-long riots and violent unrest in Iran in recent months.

Most of those meetings, including with his European counterparts, took place on their requests, according to Iranian media reports.

One of his meetings was with Belgium’s top diplomat Hadja Lahbib, who grabbed headlines a few months ago after cutting her hair "in solidarity" with rioters. 

A statement by Iran’s foreign ministry said the Belgian foreign minister “expressed satisfaction over the discussions” and stressed that the two sides “should keep communications channel open despite their differences over some issues”.

Iran's foreign minister, for his part, reiterated that some European states made “wrong assessment” of the recent events in Iran and that those assessments should not negatively impact Iran's relations with European countries.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) shakes hands with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 27, 2023. (Photo by Iran's Foreign Ministry)

In his meeting with Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt, Iran's foreign minister slammed the unconstructive stance of some European countries on the riots and emphasized the need for dialogue to clear the misunderstandings.

During the visit, Amir-Abdollahian also held talks with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk, in which the two sides vowed to boost cooperation on issues related to human rights.

The anti-Iran brigade attempted to sabotage the top Iranian diplomat's meetings and speeches in Geneva, including by staging a show during which some attendants walked out while he was speaking, but Amir-Abdollahian stole the show, as per observers. 

Iran was rocked by deadly riots in recent months that saw Western governments, led by the United States, instigating the rioters and imposing several rounds of sanctions on Tehran to push their "regime change" agenda.

Iranian government officials, including the foreign minister, in multiple statements denounced the Western support for the riots and rioters. 

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