Iran daily: FM Zarif “we’ll respond to western lies about our human rights”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Iran will respond to “lies” spread by the West about the Islamic Republic’s record on human rights.

Zarif told a judiciary conference, “The judiciary and the Islamic system have cooperated to prepare the grounds for the country to implement its novel views on human rights in the international community…. As a system based on Islamic teachings, Iran seriously works to protect its citizens’ rights.”

A series of reports by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Ahmed Shaheed, has highlighted the issues of political prisoners, executions, lack of due process, discrimination, and restrictions on freedoms of expression, association, assembly, belief, and religion.

Shaheed said in his latest report in March that, while the Rouhani Government had “made a number of positive overtures”, including the release of some political prisoners last autumn. However, he said that the steps did “not address fully the fundamental human rights concerns”.

Senior judiciary official Mohammad Javad Larijani said on Tuesday that Shaheed was “biased and seeking specific political objectives”: “We believe that Shaheed’s report is not professionally worked out.”

Zarif Reassures Parliament “Nuclear Agreement Will Respect Our Red Lines”

Addressing MPs after last week’s talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reassured that Iranian negotiators will remain firm on their core demands: recognition of Tehran’s right to uranium enrichment and operation of nuclear facilities and lifting of US-led sanctions.

Zarif said, “We know that (the 5+1 Powers) would like to discuss Iran’s red lines, but the negotiating team knows better than to make agreements and negotiate based on our red lines.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi confirmed that Iran has received five installments of unfrozen assets, amounting to $4.2 billion dollars, following last November’s interim nuclear agreement. Araghchi said two remaining installments will be paid by the expiry of the interim arrangements on July 21.

Rouhani’s Office Arranges Release of Women Arrested Trying to Watch Volleyball Match

Women arrested on Saturday as they tried to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to watch a volleyball match between Iran and Italy have been released.

Shahindokht Mollaverdi, an advisor to President Rouhani on women’s affairs, said the group were released through the efforts of the President’s office.

Mollaverdi added that the administration is trying to establish a mechanism to address the root of the problem so women can enter stadiums unimpeded.

The ban on women at sporting events has also been raised by Iran’s participation in football’s World Cup. Mollaverdi said last week that President Rouhani would encourage the Sports Minister to relax the prohibition.

By EA WorldView


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