PHOTO: Supreme Leader’s senior advisor Ali Akbar Velayati
Today’s resumption of nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers in Vienna has been overshadowed by a weekend dispute: the regime is challenging the European Parliament over a resolution expressing grave concern about human rights in the Islamic Republic.
MPs, clerics, and senior officials have denounced the Parliament ever since Thursday’s resolution reviewing relations with Iran claimed the “continued, systemic violation of fundamental rights”.
The Tehran Friday Prayer accused the European Union of wanting to “open a new spy den”, and MPs tabled a proposal on Sunday which called on the Government to reconsider political and economic relations with European countries who voted for the resolution.
On Sunday, the senior foreign policy advisor to the Supreme Leader added his voice.
Ali Akbar Velayati said the European Parliament was a “pressure tool” for the US and its allies to achieve “illegitimate goals:
These kinds of unjust and groundless judgments are of no value to the Iranian nation….
The recent European Parliament resolution is not new to us as they have repeatedly committed such actions against us since the (victory) of the Revolution, but our nation will continue to move on the right path.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is scheduled to lead the nuclear talks with the 5+1 Powers in Vienna, said, “The European Parliament is not in a position and does not have the moral authority to be able to express views about the situation in other countries.”
Rouhani Welcomes Release of Border Guards as Success Against “Extremists”
In a message on Sunday, President Rouhani congratulated the Supreme Leader and the Iranian nation on the release of four kidnapped Iranian border guards by the Sunni insurgency Jaish-ul-Adl.
Rouhani then declared, “This success once again showed that the Islamic Republic of Iran…will resist all political and propaganda pressure until the complete disgrace and defeat of extremists and all their foreign supporters.”
Jaish ul-Adl seized five guards on February 6 in southeastern Iran and took them into Pakistan, where one was executed in late March. The insurgents threatened to kill another but then said it was in talks with Iranian authorities.
Jaish ul-Adl, which has carried out a series of attacks on Iranian forces since last summer, demanded the release of 300 detainees from Iranian prisons.
Iran Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam denied on Sunday that any concessions were made for the guards’ freedom:
There has been no deal over the freedom of the border guards; public pressure had a good effect in this regard.
Increased social costs and intelligence superiority forced Jaish ul-Adl to free them.