Official: Iran Doesn’t Accept Western Human Rights Criteria
by Joshua Levitt
Mohammad-Javad Larijani, Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council, said on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic rejects the human rights norms and standards accepted by western states, according to semi-official state media agency FARS.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s affinity for human rights is rooted in its Islamic and cultural principles and we don’t accept the West-imposed human rights (principles) which want to change our way of life (lifestyle),” Larijani told a delegation from Ireland visiting Tehran on Tuesday. The Irish delegation, in Tehran for a four-day official visit, was led by Pat Breen, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Oireachtas, Irish Parliament.
“We have extensive plans in (the) area of human rights and (the) establishment of Iran’s Human Rights Council with such a structure and extent shows its importance for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Larijani, the son of Ayatollah Hashem Amoli and a brother of Ali Larijani, the current chairman of the Parliament, and Sadegh Larijani, the current chief justice.
FARS supported Larijani’s statement with background from Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham who, in December, “underlined that Iran expects a completely different and new approach from the western countries with regard to human rights issues.”
At a news conference in Tehran, Afkham told reporters, “As regards the human rights issues we demand a new and different approach by the West.”
FARS said that, “She stressed that if the western countries adopt a constructive approach and far from politicization, there will be the possibility of cooperation in different areas, including human rights.”
In Afkham’s words, “We have laid emphasis on avoiding politicization of human rights debates and rejected the (West’s) double-standard approach in our talks with different European officials in the past and the present.”