Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avaei rebuked US criticism in a defiant speech at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, highlighting the tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Ahead of Avaei’s speech, the US mission in Geneva said it was “appalled” that he would attend the Council. The European Union has placed Avaei on a sanctions list because of his alleged involvement in rights violations.
However, government members are allowed to take part in UN events despite such sanctions.
“As the recent head of the Tehran judiciary and current Minister of Justice, Avaei oversees systematic arbitrary arrests and detentions of Iranians engaging in peaceful political and civic activism,” the US said in its statement.
Avaei lashed out at the United States in his speech, denouncing its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a provocation that “revealed their complicity to deprive the Palestinians of their basic right” to set up an independent state.
Without naming the US, he also criticised “self-proclaimed champions of human rights” who blame others, “while certain parts of their population, especially blacks, immigrants, foreigners and indigenous people, grievously suffer.”
US President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal that was meant to end the Islamic Republic’s international isolation.
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