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Home EJIL Analysis The Iranian Response to the UK Riots

The Iranian Response to the UK Riots

Published on August 20, 2011        Author: 

Earlier this week, Bill Schabas had a very interesting post considering whether the recent riots in the UK amounted to crimes against humanity. He reflects on the Rome Statute’s requirement for a “State or organizational policy”, on how complementarity would apply when persons are prosecuted for ordinary domestic crimes and on the gravity threshold applied by the ICC prosecutor. It is well worth a read.

Also worth a read is the response of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the riots in the UK. This response was published in the Guardian over a week ago. Here are some extracts.

Having already offered to send an expert team to investigate human rights abuses amid the riots, the Iranian regime has gone one step further and called on the UN security council to intervene over the British government’s handling of the unrest rocking the country.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, condemned the British government for its “violent suppression” of the protesters and called for an end to what he described as the “killing and brutal beating” of “the opposition” angry with the government’s financial policies.

“The real opposition are the people who are beaten up and killed on the streets of London, those whose voices are not heard by anyone,” Iran’s Irna state news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

The foreign ministry, went so far as to issue a statement advising against any unnecessary travel to the UK.

On Tuesday night, conservative websites sympathetic to the Islamic regime called on the Iranian government to offer refuge in its embassy in London to “UK protesters in need of protection”.

In the aftermath of Iran’s disputed presidential election in 2009, some European embassies in Tehran opened their doors to opposition protesters.

Iranian officials infuriated by the UK’s condemnation of Iran’s human rights violations in recent years, have found a unique opportunity with recent events to get back at the British government by criticising the police force for “exercising violence”.

… Ahmadinejad criticised the UN security council for remaining silent over the riots in Britain. “What else should happen for the security council to react and condemn one of its own members?”

He accused the UK authorities of portraying its opposition as a group of “looters, rioters and drug dealers”, adding: “Does Britain have this extent of drug dealers? If this is the case, they should be tried and UN should build walls surrounding their country.”

… He asked Britain to listen to the demands of its people and criticised human rights organisations for remaining silent over the violence used against British protesters.

Wonderful isn’t it?

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Filed under: EJIL Analysis, Iran
 

2 Responses

  1. André Tschumi

    Compare the situation in Iran, where basic human rights have been massively denied for decades and there is no “rule of law”, with the riots in UK is totally absurd. The best thing to do is to ignore this provocation and just not answer it. Any attempt to compare these situations would legitimize the idea that we could find similarities between them.
    This text looks like an Iranian attempt to distract attention of international community from the Middle East (Syria) towards UK.

  2. Dan Joyner Dan Joyner

    Thanks for calling attention to this Dapo. It is a delicious piece of political theater. I’m sure Ahmadinejad relished this opportunity to rhetorically strike back at the West.
    Dan Joyner