Thursday, 11 August 2011

Iran criticises UK over riots

The UK has told Iran it would be glad to discuss its handling of the riots following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments about British police using "savage" aggression against demonstrators.

On Wednesday 10th August, Ahmadinejad made disparaging remarks about the riots in the UK, criticising British police's "crushing attack" on unarmed citizens.

In a letter to Iran's Foreign Ministry, British Charge d'Affaires in Tehran Jane Marriott said that hopefully this would open dialogue between the two countries and encourage Tehran to allow a UN-appointed investigator to look into alleged human rights violations.

Marriott said: "I would remind you that the UK has a standing invitation to all U.N. special rapporteurs and has facilitated the visits of a number of these rapporteurs to the UK in recent years…I urge the Iranian government to extend a similar courtesy to the dedicated UN special rapporteur for the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, to enable him to address the international community's grave concerns about on-going human rights violations within Iran.”

In March, the UN Human Rights Council nominated a special rapporteur for Iran to look into its crackdown on the opposition and frequent use of the death penalty. Iran is yet to allow the rapporteur into the country.

Eight people were killed in protests against Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in 2009. Two people were shot dead in Tehran on February 14th this year during the first opposition demonstration for more than a year.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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