A public hanging in Iran. Undated

A public hanging in Iran. Undated

Iran Categorically Rejects US Criticism Over Rights Violations

4/15/2022

Iran's foreign ministry has called the US State Department's annual report on human rights in Iran "baseless" and said the US government is "addicted to lies".

"Publication of repetitive and baseless reports does not create any kind of legitimacy for such reports," Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement Thursday on the foreign ministry's website in reaction to the US State Department's 2021 report on human rights practices published Tuesday.

"The lie-addicted government of the US cannot be expected in any way to talk about truth and existing realities," he said while alleging that the United States ignores "systemic violation of human rights" in its own country and by its allies.

Khatibzadeh also said that the assassination of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Qods Force commander, Ghasem Soleimani in Baghdad by former US President Donald Trump's orders was an indication of the "terrorist nature of the United States".

The State Department's report, the second by the administration of President Joe Biden, said Iran violates human rights in various ways including unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government and its agents, executions for offences that do not meet the threshold of the "most serious crimes" such as drug-trafficking and financial corruption, and for acts not internationally recognized as crimes. "Death sentences were used as a weapon of repression against protesters, dissidents and ethnic minorities," the report said.

The report alleged that the Islamic Republic takes reprisal against individuals in other countries including killing, kidnapping, or violence and punishes family members for offenses allegedly committed by an individual.

"The government [in 2021] took few steps to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed human rights abuses or corruption. Impunity remained pervasive throughout all levels of the government and security forces," the report said.

"We continue to find ways both in public and in very discreet manners to support people who are trying to advance the human rights situation in Iran," said Lisa Peterson, acting assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor affairs at a special briefing on Tuesday. "We have also put into play a variety of sanctions tools."

In its most recent annual report, Amnesty International also rebuked the Islamic Republic for routinely repressing citizens and "systemic impunity" of officials for "past and ongoing crimes against humanity".

The global rights watchdog criticized Iran for torture and other ill-treatment of prisoners, use of the death penalty as a weapon of repression, and executions carried out after unfair trials as well as holding the country's June 2021 presidential elections "in a repressive environment'.

Iran routinely dismisses any criticism of its human rights record but has not allowed international rights groups and the United Nations special rapporteurs to visit the country.

The Biden administration released its first report on human rights practices in Iran on March 31 last year in which it alleged that violation of human rights was a policy in the Islamic Republic and the regime was also involved in widespread human rights violations in other countries in the Middle East.

Despite tough criticism of Iran’s record by successive US administrations, the issue of gross human rights violations hardly have a place in negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program or aggressive policies in the region, although certain human rights sanctions are in place.

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