Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (2nd R, first row) and his wife Yulia (3rd R, first row) walk during an opposition rally in Moscow, October 27, 2013.

Iranian Newspaper Condemns Russia, Putin For Navalny Murder

Thursday, 02/22/2024

A newspaper previously inked to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of murdering opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Simultaneously, at least two reports in the Iranian press have accused Putin and Russia of interfering in Iran's internal affairs.

The conservative Jomhouri Eslami newspaper, founded by Khamenei in 1979, charged in its February 20 edition that "Alexei Navalny is the latest victim of Russia's rulers. His murder is perhaps the most gruesome crime ever committed by Moscow's rulers." The newspaper listed 25 opposition figures it claimed were killed by Russian government agents, including Gazprom official Leonid Shulman, industrialist Igor Nasov, editor Vladimir Gorkin, and former KGB agent and critic of Putin, Alexander Litvinenko.

The newspaper pointed out that although execution has been abolished in Russia, there is a long list of those who have been killed with guns, in swimming pools, by poisoning, stabbing and other methods.

Such outright and open criticism is rare in Iran’s government-controlled and censored press, considering the close military and diplomatic alliance between Moscow and Tehran.

Flowers, lights and portraits sit at the memorial site for Alexei Navalny at Carl Fredrik Reutersward's sculpture 'Non-Violence', at Anna Lindhs Place, in Malmo, Sweden February 20, 2024.

The daily called on the international human rights community to form a fact-finding committee to investigate Navalny's death, describing it as "yet another political murder in Russia" and evidence of "a modern despotic government which attempts to terrify its opponents by suppressing and eliminating its enemies."

Jomhuri Eslami concluded that "as a political leader who kills his opponents, Putin should not be trusted," warning the Iranian government of Russia's systematic disregard for the interests of other countries.

Earlier, Iranian politicians including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the former chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee reiterated that Russia should not be trusted as an ally.

In an interview with Khabar Online website, former diplomat Fereydoun Majlesi pointed out the conflict between Iran and Russia's interests. He highlighted Russia's delays in delivering the Bushehr Power Plant to Iran, its rivalry in oil and gas markets, and its use of Iran as a shield in its conflict with Ukraine. Majlesi emphasized the need for Iranian officials to ensure that ties with Russia do not hinder Iran's relations with other countries.

Majlesi said that Russia has never helped Iran to further its foreign trade. On the other hand, the Russians delayed the delivery of the Bushehr Power Plant to Iran for 30 years. He pointed out that Russia is Iran's rival in the oil and gas markets. He also charged that Russia has been using Iran as a shield in its war against Ukraine. He added that by encouraging conflicts in the Red Sea, the Russians wish to disrupt the flow of oil through the region.

In another development related to Russia's interference with Iran's internal affairs, Nader Ghazipour, a former member of the Iranian parliament (Majles) from Urmia, who has been disqualified from running for the next parliament, alleged Russia's involvement in his disqualification.

Ghazipour told Khabar Online in Tehran he is aware that he has been disqualified for criticizing the government for its one-sided ties with Moscow. He said: "I was the only member of the Iranian parliament who made a speech against Russia at an open session of the Majles."

Despite these occasional media criticisms, the Iranian regime continues to supply offensive weapons to Moscow, including kamikaze drones, and according to the latest news, ballistic missiles.

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