News   /   Politics   /   Editor's Choice

Iran slams France’s violent crackdown on pension reform protests

A protestor gets arrested by police officers during a demonstration, as part of a nationwide day of strikes and protests called by unions over the proposed pensions overhaul, in Paris, France, March 11, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Iran has lashed out at the French government over its violent crackdown on protests against a controversial pension reform plan, saying Paris lectures others about respecting human rights it is a stranger to.

In a tweet on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani posted a video showing the French police use of force against the people, who had taken to the streets to vent their anger at President Emmanuel Macron's overhaul of the country's pension system.

“The practical lesson of the French police to others in respecting human rights and honoring the rights of protesters,” he wrote.

“This is an example of respecting human rights and honoring the rights of protesters in the ‘European Garden’!”

Kan’ani was referring to controversial remarks by European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who described Europe as a “garden” while banishing the rest of the world as “a jungle” that could “invade the garden.”

Borrell remarks prompted strong rebuke, with some saying that the so-called ‘garden’ was built through “barbaric plundering” of the ‘jungle.’

On Saturday night, the French Senate approved the reform package, bringing it another step closer to becoming law.

The approval came hours after nationwide demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of French people pressuring the government to back down. 

Paris police said they had made 32 arrests after some protesters threw objects at their forces, with rubbish bins burned and windows broken.

“Human rights lectures of the self-proclaimed rights advocates are for others. They are stranger to them (their own human rights lectures). There are many of these examples in the US and Europe!” Kan’ani wrote.

The pension reform’s headline measure is raising the minimum retirement age in France to 64, up from 62. It also increases the number of years people have to make contributions for a full pension.

Unions say the measures are unfair, and would disproportionately affect low-skilled workers in tiring jobs who start their careers early.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku