Iran foreign minister condemns France’s role in stoking recent riots
Iran’s foreign minister has censured the stance of France and other European countries in instigating riots in the country, warning that Tehran’s response to hostile measures will be “effective” and “immediate.”
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made these remarks in a phone call with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna on Wednesday evening, in which they discussed bilateral ties as well as the French government's role in stoking recent deadly riots in Iran.
The top Iranian diplomat criticized the stance of France in “instigating riot” in Iran as “unfriendly”.
Slamming the meddlesome remarks of some French officials, he said Tehran "always prefers the path of dialogue and diplomacy, however, as you can witness, in [case of] a confrontational approach, our measures are immediate, effective, and reciprocal.”
The remarks came hours after the Iranian foreign ministry slapped sanctions on dozens of EU and UK individuals and entities on Wednesday in a tit-for-tat move.
The move came two days after the European Union announced sanctions on more than 30 Iranian officials and organizations connected to recent deadly riots in the country, which were triggered by the death of a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, last September.
Tensions between Iran and the European Union hit a new high when the European Parliament asked the EU to designate the IRGC as a “terrorist organization” in a non-binding vote last Wednesday.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, however, clarified on Monday that the bloc cannot list the IRGC as a “terrorist” entity without an EU court ruling.
Criticizing the “unconstructive” measure of the European Parliament with regard to the IRGC, Amir-Abdollahian stressed the IRGC has had an “important role in maintaining regional security and truly fighting against terrorism.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is closely monitoring the EU behavior and will take its next steps accordingly,” added the top diplomat.
“Do not repeat the failed Trump’s policy of sanctions,” he advised the French FM.
Former US President Donald Trump scrapped the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and imposed severe economic sanctions on Tehran under the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” to force Iran into a new deal but to no avail.
Amir-Abdollahian also slammed Chalie Hebdo’s insult to religious sanctities, noting that the desecration of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden and the Netherlands is in line with the same approach.
Charlie Hebdo published derogatory cartoons of Iran’s religious authority in a special issue this month. The controversial right-wing magazine had in early December announced a competition for the cartoons.
The vulgar act was met with strong condemnation from Iranian people and officials.