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Iran offers human rights dialog with Europe

5 August 2016 14:40

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Iran’s Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani has proposed that the Islamic Republic and Europe initiate a dialog on human rights.

Human rights have long been a point of friction between Iran and the West, with Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani saying Europe and the US are making an “instrumental use” of the issue.

“I propose that the High Council for Human Rights initiate a dialog with European countries in the human rights field in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he told a conference on human rights in Tehran Wednesday.

“The main condition for the talks is that this human rights dialog and its contents should be bilateral, instead of Iran merely being subject to questioning,” he said.

Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani said Iran has questions about Islamophobia in the West and the way it is treating humans.

“We have also questions about the forced unveiling (of women) at schools and universities in France. In a France where you have to go to jail if you cast a side-glance at Holocaust, is this what human right is?”

The Iranian judiciary chief, however, ruled out any discussion about human rights with the Americans, saying “they are the people of deception and they showed it” in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under the JCPOA or the nuclear agreement, Iran accepted to scale back its nuclear program in exchange for the West to lift its sanctions on the Islamic Republic. However, the Americans have been less forthcoming, and Iranian officials say the US has failed to fulfill its commitments.

Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani said human rights based on Islamic teachings differ with what Western countries were advocating for world societies.

“For us as Muslims, the issue of human rights is a fundamental debate…. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been written with a secular-liberal view,” he said.


Foreign participants at a conference on human rights in Tehran observe discussions presented at the event, Aug. 3, 2016. 

“We have two fundamental questions about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and another question at the practical level,” Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani said,

“Our two questions are related to the principles of human rights. For whom is this right and what’s your analysis about rights? he said, addressing Western governments.

“The other question is: Why are you dictating your views on the whole world? Isn’t this in paradox with human rights?”

The judiciary chief also questioned Western criticism of Iran’s application of the Sharia law and the Islamic penal law, including Qisas or the right for the nearest relatives of a murder victim to take the life of the killer.

“You are rejecting Qisas and Diyya. This amounts to rejecting the rights of our people. Who has given you the right to dictate your ideology and method of life on the whole world? Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani said.

The senior cleric said the West is applying double standards on human rights and using them as an instrument.

“What stance have the European and American countries taken on Bahrain?…Thousands of homeless children, women and men are bombed in Palestine. Are Muslims not entitled to human rights?

“You have shut the UN Secretary-General’s mouth so that he doesn’t say anything about the violation of children’s rights in Yemen. Today, it has become evident to the world that your advocacy  of human rights is subjective,” Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani said.

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