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Iran Says Europe Should Commit To JCPOA Instead Of Supporting 'Thugs' In Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) speaks with ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi in the capital Tehran, June 10, 2019

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Thursday reacted to a statement by the the EU Foreign Policy spokesperson which has called on Iran "to exercise maximum restraint” in handling the protests, by accusing the EU of interfering in Iran's internal affairs.

In his daily briefing Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "instead of interfering in Iran's internal affairs", "defending thugs" and "shedding crocodile tears in defense of those who destroy public and private property in Iran the European countries better honor their nuclear commitments to Iran and deal with their own problems."

On November 21, six days after the start of the protests, a written statement by Maja Kojcijancic, the EU Foreign Policy spokesperson had called on Iran security forces "exercise maximum restraint in handling the protests". The statement said socio-economic challenges should be addressed through inclusive dialogue and not through the use of violence and stressed that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly must be guaranteed and the free flow of information and access to the Internet is ensured.

The EU's late, low-level reaction to the killing of protesters in Iran and the languages of its statement were questioned by reporters at a press briefing but the EU Foreign Policy spokesperson rejected the criticism and said the EU uses several types of statements but they all represent the EU position."

Mousavi also said, "What should be addressed first and foremost regarding Iran is that Europe should be held accountable for not honoring its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and for backing the US sanctions and economic terrorism against the Iranian nation…”.

The international community has consistently warned Iran about its heavy-handed dealing with Iranian protesters. According to Radio Farda's investigations at least 138 protesters were killed by Iranian security forcesand t housands of Iranians arrested since protests sparked by tripling the price of gasoline erupted in 100 Iranian cities and towns on November 15.