General

Iran slams German French leaders for ‘supporting’ anti-government protests

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani termed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's remarks on protests in Iran as "interventionist and provocative".

The spokesman warned that damage to relations between the two countries will have "long-term consequences".

In his weekly address on Saturday, Scholz slammed the Iranian government for its crackdown on protests and said Berlin stands “shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people”.

He said the protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody were no longer "a question of dress codes" but had transformed into a fight for freedom and justice.

Amini's death in September sparked countrywide protests in Iran, prompting the US and European Union to impose a slew of sanctions on several Iranian officials and entities.

Scholz also hinted at additional sanctions on Iran for its crackdown against protesters as well as for supplying drones to Russia.

Reacting to Scholz's remarks, Kanaani said Germany has forgotten its support to Iraq's former ruler Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war as well as sanctions by the US following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

He accused the German government of "running away from its international responsibility to respect the sovereignty of countries", and "providing shelter to terrorist and separatist groups".

The Iranian spokesman also took strong umbrage to French President Emmanuel Macron's meeting with a dissident Iranian-American journalist and activist on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum.

Kanaani termed it "surprising" that Macron "lowered his level" by meeting with a person who has "tried to spread hatred and violence against Iran".

The French president on Friday met with a delegation of exiled Iranian journalists and rights activists, describing the ongoing protests in Iran as a "revolution".

"We welcomed with great honor and pleasure a delegation of Iranian women," Macron said at the Paris Peace Forum. "I want to emphasize our respect and our admiration in the context of the revolution they are leading."

The delegation included Iranian-American journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, who works for Voice of America and is a fierce critic of the Iranian government.

Kanaani termed Macron's remarks on protests in Iran as "regrettable and shameful" and said his meeting with Alinejad and others was a "flagrant violation of France's international responsibilities in the fight against terrorism and violence".

Source: Anadolu Agency