France Can’t Preach Others on Human Rights after Honouring Egyptian Dictator: Iran

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi receives France's highest honour, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (Légion d'honneur) in a ceremony in Paris attended by French President Emmanuel Macron

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says France is in no position to preach other countries on their human rights situation after decorating Egyptian “dictator” Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with its highest honour, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour.

In comments on Sunday, Khatibzadeh said it is a “bitter irony” that “a country that secretly awards Légion d’honneur (the Legion of Honour) to a dictator who has launched a coup, has suppressed numerous people in demonstrations and has imprisoned them in dungeon or executed them, is shamelessly talking about democracy and human rights.”

The Iranian spokesman made the remarks in reaction to the French Foreign Ministry’s statement in criticism of Iran’s execution of Rouhollah Zam, the administrator of the Telegram channel Amad News.

“It’s a great shame that some European countries have turned into a safe haven for terrorists for years, from Munafeqin (Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization) grouplet to Al-Ahwaziya criminals,” he deplored.

“A number of the main elements of grouplets like Tondar, who masterminded and guided a bombing operation at the Sayyid al-Shuhada Hussainiya (mosque) in Shiraz in 2008 and had plans to carry out other major operations in other parts of Iran, but fortunately failed to do so with Iran’s intelligence dominance, had been granted citizenship by the very same European countries,” the spokesman noted.

“It is a great pity that great human values have in such way become a plaything in the hands of the governments that have turned everything, including human rights and freedom of expression, into an instrument for their short-sighted political objectives,” the Iranian diplomat deplored.

France, Germany, the European Union and several other countries issued statements in condemnation of Zam’s execution in Tehran. The Islamic Republic says his online work incited violence across the country during the 2017 protests over a hike in fuel prices.

In reaction to what Iran calls “interventionist” statements by European countries, the ambassadors of Germany and France were summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Sunday.

“The ambassador of Germany, in its capacity as the rotating president of the (European) Union and also in its national capacity, as well as the ambassador of France were summoned by the director general for European affairs at the Foreign Ministry this afternoon following the interventionist statements issued (by Germany and France),” Khatibzadeh said.

“At the meetings, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for European affairs notified the ambassadors of Iran’s strong and explicit protest against the statements of the European Union and the two European countries in support of the notorious terrorist element and the financial and spiritual support from certain European countries for terrorist elements and groups, who have clearly committed criminal security acts against the Iranian nation in cooperation with the Western and the Zionist regime’s espionage services and have explicitly confessed to them,” the spokesperson added.

“In these two meetings, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for European affairs asked the German and French ambassadors according to which standard are incendiary bomb-making training, plots for street clashes, cooperation with the foreign governments and intelligence services with the purpose of toppling the political structure of Iran, and aiding and abetting the armed criminal activities called journalism? Or under which definition does a journalist become monitored and protected by and cooperate with the internal security agency of France and in close contact with Mossad, begin to extensively collect sensitive national information, including the military information, and provide them to the intelligence services of certain countries?” he added.

“As an instance, although the French officials were mindful of the anti-Iran activities and moves of Rouhollah Zam, the French Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson had confirmed earlier that he (Zam) had enjoyed full freedom to carry out his moves,” Khatibzadeh added.

“The Iranian nation will also never forget the role of that group of European countries in equipping Saddam with chemical weapons, which led to the tragic martyrdom of people of Sardasht and Halabja, as well as the martyrdom and injury of a large number of the IRGC and Army forces in the front lines during the imposed war. Still, many victims of chemical attacks during the imposed war are suffering from the pain and miseries across Iran caused by contamination from the chemical substances used in Saddam’s military weapons,” he said.

“In the meetings, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for European affairs added that from the viewpoint of the great Iranian nation, the European countries are accomplices in the shameful measures of such elements, as they have unfortunately sheltered the terrorist and criminal elements that have the Iranian nation’s blood on their hands, have turned a blind eye to their criminal acts, and, above all, try to sanctify terrorism. The fact that the European Union, Germany and France advocate for the criminal elements instead of apologizing to the Iranian nation and to the families of martyrs of terrorist and criminal operations and admitting to their role in those measures is strongly condemned. Thus, their hypocritical comments have no value in the eyes of the Iranian nation and government,” the spokesperson concluded.

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