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Defending a ‘recognized’ terrorist betrays Europe’s hypocrisy: Iran

Iran says Europe’s recent outrageous expression of sympathy for a "recognized" terrorist clearly betrays its “hypocrisy.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks to reporters on Sunday after the European Union, Germany, and France expressed strong sympathy for convicted counterrevolutionary element Rouhollah Zam who was hanged Saturday.

Khatibzadeh said the EU and its members back such criminals while refusing to apologize to the Iranian nation for their role in countless terrorist attacks that have targeted Iranians for years.

“Their hypocritical statements, therefore, is devoid of any value” in the eyes of the Iranian people and government, the spokesman added.

Zam, who used to run the counterrevolutionary Amad News website, was hanged for corruption on earth, among numerous other crimes. 

He was convicted of committing offenses against the country’s internal and external security, spreading lies, abetting economic disruption, spying for the intelligence services of France and one of the regional states, cooperating with the hostile US government against the Islamic Republic, participating in propaganda activities against the Islamic establishment on behalf of counterrevolutionary groups, fueling violence during the 2017 riots, insulting the sanctities of Islam and acquiring illegitimate wealth.

Zam, who reportedly lived in Paris, encouraged rioters to arm themselves and taught them how to make explosives via his news feed. Telegram shut down his channel following the deadly riots between December 28, 2017 and January 3, 2018 in Iran.

The European Union has claimed that Tehran violated the convict’s right to due process, and accused Iran of using forced “televised confessions.” Germany separately expressed “shock” about the circumstances surrounding Zam’s conviction and what it described as his “abduction from abroad.” France described the execution as a “barbarous and unacceptable act.”

On Sunday, the Islamic Republic summoned the German ambassador to Tehran, who acts as the EU’s rotational representative to the Islamic Republic, and his French counterpart to the Foreign Ministry to protest their “meddlesome statements” in support of the terrorist.

Khatibzadeh said the Europeans were given a dressing-down for referring to Zam as a “journalist,” and asked how he could have qualified as a journalist despite his numerous violent and subversive actions.

“By what standard can teaching how to make firebombs, devising plans for street scuffles, cooperation with foreign governments and intelligence services with the aim of toppling Iran’s political structure, and abetting criminal armed activity be called journalism?” he said, citing the contents of Iran’s protest.

The European envoys were reminded that Europe had insisted on calling the terrorist a “journalist” even though he cooperated with the French internal security service, received its protection, maintained close contact with the Israeli spy agency Mossad, collected sensitive national and military information and shared it with certain foreign intelligence services.

The spokesman, meanwhile, cataloged a long list of European countries’ support for the terrorist organizations that have a dark history of deadly operations against the Iranian people and authorities.

European countries have been offering asylum, citizenship and other support for members of anti-Iran terrorist groups such as the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), al-Ahwaziyeh and Tondar.

The MKO is responsible for killing thousands of Iranian people and authorities over the past four decades. The separatist al-Ahwaziyeh group killed 25 people in a terrorist attack in southwestern Iran in 2018, and Tondar, a US-based terrorist outfit, attacked a religious congregation center in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz in 2008, killing 14 people.

“This is a historic tragedy that Europe has divided terrorism into good and bad based on its interests, and is using it selectively in line with its goals,” Khatibzadeh said.

It is this very inhumane approach that has fueled the ongoing vicious circle of hate-mongering, violence, and terrorism, he added.

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