Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian with his Afghan counterpart.. FILE

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian with his Afghan counterpart.

Iran Calls On Taliban To Respect Women’s Rights


While many express shock by how Iran on Tuesday pepper sprayed women who wanted to watch a football match, its foreign minister has urged the Taliban to respect women’s rights.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made his remark during a meeting with his Taliban counterpart Amir Khan Muttaqi in China, on Thursday, where foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries had gathered.

Amir-Abdollahian called for women’s right to education at all levels and their participation in different sectors of the society.

“The role of women in Afghanistan is very important to us... Islam recognizes the presence of women in various fields as their inalienable right,” he said.

In reaction to Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks, senior Israeli diplomat Joshua L. Zarka posted a tweet in Persian, calling it “utmost hypocrisy”. “What do Iranian and Afghan women think about the role you ‘give’ them?”

On Tuesday security forces denied women entry into a stadium in Mashhad to watch a FIFA World Cup qualifier between Iran and Lebanon and used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse them.

Mashhad is home to numerous hardliner clerics who are against women’s presence in male dominated venues. Firebrand representative of the Supreme Leader in the city, Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda has been banning concerts and cultural events for years.

Other than the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Iran is the only FIFA member country to bar women from football stadiums to watch men’s matches.

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