US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price says Tehran lies about receiving messages from Washington about resuming negotiations over the nuclear deal.
During a briefing on Monday Price said he cannot answer why time to time Iranian officials claim that the US is interested in resuming nuclear talks and sends messages in this regard.
“Only Iranian officials can speak to why they continue to tell these lies. Iranian officials can repeat their line as often as they want, but it doesn’t change the underlying facts. A revival of the JCPOA has not been on the agenda for months. We have not conveyed any message to the contrary. I can’t speak to why Iranian officials may be trying to deceive the rest of the world,” noted Price.
The Iranian foreign minister’s claims came as Iran’s currency, the ria,l dropped to unprecedented lows on Sunday, creating more panic in the country. Optimistic statements about the likelihood of a nuclear deal and lifting of sanctions usuallu help the Iranian currency to rally.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Price referred to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s statements at the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, saying his appearance in the human rights council serves as a “disturbing reminder to the world of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime….In light of this, we did not have our ambassador in the chair when Iran spoke.”
Responding to Amir-Abdollahian’s comments, who said in his remarks on Monday that “Human rights is at the – are at the core of our values;” and “No state should coerce others to self-styled interpretation of human rights,” Price stated that this is an excuse often heard from countries with the worst human rights records around the world, claiming that human rights are subjective, and they need to be context-dependent.
“Iran is a member-state of the UN. The UN Charter is predicated on some of the same ideals that are in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the idea of universal rights around the world. Iran can’t have it both ways. Iran cannot purport to be a member, a member-state of the UN, while making these arguments that these universal rights don’t apply to the people of Iran,” stressed Price.
Tens of participants at the UN Human Rights Council walked out when the Islamic Republic’s foreign minister spoke at the 52nd session of the body on Monday.
Many seats were empty while Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was delivering his speech at UHRC’s headquarters in Geneva, following calls by activists urging delegates to walk out in reaction to the regime’s gross human rights violations, especially during the ongoing crackdown on antigovernment protests.
Trying to manipulate the realities on the ground, the Iranian FM said, “The peaceful assemblies that took place in my country following the sad death of Mahsa Amini... turned violent following the malign interference by some terrorist elements. In this respect, several Persian language TV channels based in the US and the UK, acted as provocateurs of hatred and propagators of violence.”
He also claimed that an investigation was ongoing and that all the people that were arrested during the protests have been released. He also claimed that "no one has been killed," in response to Iran International’s correspondent who asked him about the Islamic Republic's killing of protesters including a 10-year-old kid.
The council was one of the first international bodies to react to the current wave of protests. In November, the council voted to launch an independent investigation into the regime’s deadly repression, which has killed more than 500 civilians, including 70 children.