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Gharibabadi: Iran not to sit idly by over Hamid Nouri’s life sentence, Sweden should rectify behavior

A senior Iranian rights official has warned that the Islamic Republic will not remain idle in response to Swedish court's ruling of life imprisonment for Iranian citizen Hamid Nouri, calling on Stockholm to “rectify its behavior."

Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, made the comment in a post on his Twitter page on Thursday after Tehran recalled its ambassador to protest the sentencing of Nouri to life in prison on baseless accusations brought by some members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), an anti-Iran terrorist group.

“Iran will not sit idly by and has several options on the table to respond to a) Sweden’s totally unlawful sentencing of Hamid Nouri to life imprisonment, and b) its’ brash support for notorious terrorist groups,” Gharibabadi wrote.

“The clock is ticking for Sweden to rectify its behavior,” added the tweet. 

Double standards, contradictory behavior of European countries

In a related development on Thursday, Gharibabadi censured the contradictory and double standards of certain European countries with regard to Nouri’s illegal trial and ruling in Sweden.

“You cannot arrest and prosecute innocent Iranian citizens, be a safe haven for terrorist groups, seize Iran’s money and make its transfer subject to the emancipation of criminals and convicts in Iran, and accuse Iran of hostage-taking!,” Iran’s Fars news agency quoted Gharibabadi as saying.

“Iran would not sit on its hands over Sweden’s illegal action in the trial of Hamid Nouri and the issuing of life sentence for him as well as the country’s clear support for terrorist groups,” he added, noting “Iran has various options at its disposal.”

The official wondered as to how Sweden could claim to be acting within the framework of bilateral relations and mutual respect, while it has turned into a base for hosting, supporting and leading various terrorist and separatist groups against Iran.

“Some European countries have also become a safe haven for fugitive criminals who have absconded with the property of the people and the government, and keep refusing to return them to Iran,” Gharibabadi noted.

The Iranian official said it remains to be seen whether such European countries are ready to publish the real number of Iranians imprisoned in their respective countries and those of their citizens detained in Iran so that it can be clarified who the real hostage taker is.

In a statement last week, the Swedish court accused Nouri of participating in what they called killing jailed dissidents, also leveling allegations against Iran’s judiciary system.

His accusers allege Nouri was involved in the execution and torture of MKO members in 1988. Nouri has vehemently rejected the allegation.

Nouri was arrested upon arrival in Sweden at Stockholm Airport in November 2019, during a visit to sort out his adopted daughter’s family disputes. He had been held in solitary confinement since.

Shortly before the sentence, Nouri had given details of his physical torture at the hands of his jailers during a short phone contact with his family.

He also complained that no human rights organization had visited him during his long-running solitary confinement.

The Islamic Republic has dismissed the Swedish court’s sentence as illegal and called for Nouri’s immediate release.

The MKO has been responsible for numerous assassinations and bombing attacks against top-ranking Iranian officials since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to this group’s acts of terror.

The ill-famed terror group is currently based in Albania, where it enjoys freedom of activity after being delisted by the European Union and the United States in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

The MKO also throws lavish conferences every year in the French capital, with senior American, Western, and Saudi Arabian officials in attendance as guests of honor.

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