Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: December 12 • Printable version    

Harsh reactions to British ambassador in Iran

British ambassador to Iran, Simon Gass

Islamic Republic authorities slammed British ambassador for criticizing Iran’s human rights situation and calling for the release of detained Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Iranian media reports that Simon Gass, the British ambassador to Iran, has posted a piece on the British Embassy Website in support of Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian human rights lawyer who has been jailed since early September.

In this posting which appeared on the website on December 9, Gass describes Nasrin Sotoudeh’s crime as “courageous defence” against injustices.

Simon Gass goes on to add that the Iranian government’s views on human rights are very different from those of their British counterparts. He writes that the charter of human rights cannot be however interpreted in the light of cultural assumptions and these rights are basic principles that determine the dignity of human beings.

He adds that nowhere in the world are lawyers, journalists and members of community organizations threatened as much as they are in Iran.

In conclusion, Gass urges the Iranian government to desist from arbitrary arrests and instead to establish fair trials and begin these positive moves with the release of the detained lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Iranian media has condemned the British ambassador’s statements as “interference in Iran’s domestic affairs.”

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission slammed the British ambassador saying: “It appears that the mission of Simon Gass in Tehran rather that fixing bilateral relations, is destroying them. Because his statements reveal that he has to still learn the protocols of being an ambassador.”

Boroujerdi adds: “The British ambassador should open his eyes and see that in the Islamic Republic the opposition, even those who were at the head of the sedition and still are and have been pleasing Britain with their actions, keep speaking out against the government and the policies of the regime. They are speaking out and writing their ideas and are not incarcerated either.”

The Islamic Republic authorities refer to the opposition leaders who have challenged the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as leaders of a seditious movement. while under severe state pressure, the opposition leaders, Mehdi Karroubi and MirHosein Mousavi have not been arrested so far.

He went on to condemn the “numerous British conspiracies in the region” and their role in “imposing sanctions beyond UN resolutions” and “sabotaging the recent Geneva talks.”

Iran’s head of National Security Commission also referred to the recent clashes between British police and student protesters saying: “The international community is highly concerned regarding the blatant violation of human rights in Britain.”

In the meantime, a pro-government student demonstration was held in front of the British embassy in Iran chanting anti-British slogans and accusing Britain of involvement in the assassination attempts carried out against the two Iranian physics professors in Tehran.

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