Kuala Lumpur, March 18, IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticized Western governments for adopting a double standard approach towards Iran.
Zarif made the remarks while speaking in a recent exclusive interview with ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Philip Williams.
‘We do not like the way the West has treated Iran when Iran was being bombed with chemical weapons by the Saddam regime, which later became the enemy of the world when he invaded Kuwait, but while he was invading Iran and sending chemical weapons against our people, he was being supported by everybody,’ Zarif said.
‘We don’t like that. We don’t like the fact that people threatened to use force against Iran and nobody cares,’ the foreign minister said in a reference to US and Israeli threats to use bunker busters against Iran’s peaceful nuclear facilities that he said would release radioactive material into the atmosphere causing environmental catastrophe.
‘I don’t see anybody in Australia condemning that or saying it’s provocative, but when we have a missile for our defense, people consider it to be provocative,’ he added.
‘I believe that instead of labeling each other, we need to talk to each other, we need to engage in dialogue and that’s what we’re doing.’
Zarif also targeted Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, hundreds of whom languish in detention on offshore detention camps, Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, thousands of whom are Iranian, is ‘unconscionable’.
‘We don’t like some aspects of the way Australia treats Iranians who have been basically lied to by human smugglers who come to Australia,’ he said.
Zarif said while any Iranian who opted to come home would have their safety guaranteed ‘without question’, his government would never accept the forced return of its citizens.
‘We did not send these people out. These people were lured by human traffickers and by basically propaganda coming from, I don’t know, governmental sources or others, which said they’ll be welcoming those who claim to be victims of what you describe as violations of human rights, so – and they did come. They’re not victims of violations of human rights.’