We reported recently that Iran had rejected a European Parliament resolution condemning the human rights situation in the country and urging it to eschew the death penalty. Not unexpectedly, the resolution was met with staunch criticism in Tehran, which scolded Europe for its “unrealistic” take on things and summoned the Greek ambassador for good measure.
But the outrage didn’t stop there. Without a shred of cynicism, Iran’s Fars news agency recently quoted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as saying Tehran “attaches no importance” to the resolution, as the European Parliament is “too small to insult the great Iranian nation.”
His foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, banned European Parliament delegations in retaliation for the text, which he said Europe lacked the “moral authority” to issue.
Their bristling remarks on the resolution were no more “moderate” than those of their hardline political opponents. In an interview with IRNA, Ali Akbar Velayati, political adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the “anti-Iran resolution” was “not more than worthless propaganda” by “the US and its allies.” (We’ll just take a moment to remind you all that Iran is currently negotiating with said parties.)
Iran’s military chief, Maj.-Gen. Hassan Firouzabadion, said the resolution, which was “completely contradictory to the human rights principles” (by that, he meant LGBT rights, or “the dreadful practice which is against the natural rights of the people”) was a product of “Zionist tricks,” according to IRNA. The general also reportedly attacked Europe for “miscalculating” the situations in both Iran and the Ukraine.
Iran’s foreign ministry also blamed the resolution on “Zionism,” saying the move to “use human rights as a political lever” against Iran had been “taken under the pressure of Iran’s enemies.” IRNA quoted the ministry as saying that the European Parliament, while not wholly to blame for the document, should “do its best to understand Iranian culture and religious beliefs.” Way to use religion as a political lever…
Radio Free Europe took a more critical tone when it quoted both Tehran’s temporary prayer leader, Ayatollah Movahedi-Kermani, and Basij militia head Brig.-Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqvi as speaking out against Europe’s interference and permissiveness towards “animalistic” homosexuality and drug use (respectively).
And that’s just a little taste of the truly vitriolic Iranian reactions to a document criticizing its (troubling) internal affairs. Makes us wonder to what extent Iran would accept “interference” on its internal nuclear issues as well..