US cannot legitimize policies by resorting to human rights: Iran

Press TV – Iran says inference in the domestic affairs of other countries has turned into a fundamental principle of the American foreign policy, saying Washington cannot give legitimacy to its “shameless” foreign policy through “hijacking concepts of human rights.”

“Following [its] withdrawal from [several] international treaties [which is construed] as an anti-norm, interference in the internal affairs of other countries has now turned into the second principle of the US regime’s foreign policy,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Wednesday, condemning the US’s “blatant interference” in China’s internal affairs.

Mousavi’s remarks came after the US Senate passed a bill known as the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” after a voice vote on Tuesday. The legislation will be sent to the House of Representatives, which itself had approved its own version in October.

The two chambers now need to reconcile the two bills into a single measure that can pass Congress and be sent to President Donald Trump for approval.

Mousavi said the Islamic Republic of Iran “strongly condemns” the passing of the act and “warns that the trend of violating international norms through such measures by this regime (America) has become a grave danger to global stability.”

Irked by Washington’s move, China’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior US diplomat on Wednesday as it warned it would retaliate if President Donald Trump signed the act into law.

William Klein, the US embassy’s minister counselor for political affairs, was summoned over the bill to receive Beijing’s official protest.

“This act neglects facts and truth, applies double standards and blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

“It is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. China condemns and firmly opposes it.”

Hong Kong has been engulfed by mass protests since June. The protests were sparked by a now-abandoned controversial extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

The proposal was eventually shelved, but the protests have continued and taken on an increasingly violent form, as anti-government demonstrators now seek complete separation from mainland China.

The US Senate also passed a second bill on Tuesday that would ban the export of certain crowd-control munitions to Hong Kong police forces. It bans the export of items such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns.