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Iran Dismisses EU Parliament Criticism Of Its Human Rights Record

FILE - Abbas Mousavi, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry.
FILE - Abbas Mousavi, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry.

Iran has reacted defensively to the European Parliament for calling Tehran to end persecution of women who support human, civil, labor, and political rights.

Dismissing a recent resolution adopted by the EU parliament as "one-sided", and "biased," the spokesman of the Islamic Republic Foreign Ministry, Abbas Mousavi, said on Monday, September 23, "For the Islamic Republic of Iran, observing human rights is a religious and legal obligation and a subject in line with the national interests and security."

He said the country has always strived to fulfill those obligations, and there is no need for spiteful and opportunistic emphases from others in this regard.

On September 19, the European Parliament had adopted a resolution condemning the Islamic Republic's human rights record, calling Tehran to end "suppression of women" in Iran.

The new resolution was endorsed by 608 votes in favor, seven against and 46 abstentions.

While insisting that Iran must stop criminalizing the work of women's rights defenders, including the work done by those peacefully protesting compulsory hijab, the European Parliament called on the authorities in Iran to abolish this practice.

In the meantime, the MEPs resolution has urged the Islamic Republic authorities to either release all EU-Iranian dual nationals or put them on trial again according to international standards.

Responding to the resolution, Mousavi accused the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of "being unfamiliar with the ongoing developments in Iran," adding that it has leveled accusations against Iran based on "incorrect and inauthentic information and of targeted media campaigns."

However, Mousavi immediately admitted that Iran would not deny a series of shortcomings, adding in a softer note that "efforts were underway to overcome the challenges based on Islamic and national tenets and values."

Mousavi's comments are published at a time when numerous international human rights institutions have pointed out that the source of many human rights violations in Iran was the so-called Islamic legal codes.

Furthermore, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Javaid Rehman, in his report to a UN panel in New York on October 25, 2018, insisted that the arrest of Iranian women opposing compulsory hijab is a violation of human rights and international laws.

Meanwhile, Rehman called on the Islamic Republic government to interact with him to bring about positive changes in the human rights situation, in Iran.

Tehran has so far denied Rehman an entry visa to visit Iran and personally monitor the human rights situation in the country.

In his second report on August 16, 2019, Rehman stressed that last year (2018) saw increasing restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and continuing violations of the right to life, liberty and a fair trial in the Islamic Republic, including 253 reported executions of adults and children.