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Iran criticizes Europe double standards on human rights issue

Tehran, Feb 21, IRNA-Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday that in his recent talks with representatives of the European Parliament, he criticized EU double standards on human rights issue.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 6th session of the Ministerial Council of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), Mottaki said he also mentioned to the representatives, cases of human rights violation regarding religious minorities, particularly Muslims, in Europe, including the recent insulting cartoons in Danish newspapers of the Holy Prophet of Islam Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

As for terrorism, the minister said that he discussed the need to find a clear-cut and distinctive definition of terrorism so that it would differentiate between nations' struggle to liberate their homelands and the acts of terrorism perpetrated by terrorists.

Touching upon the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Mottaki said he had stressed in the European Parliament that Tehran has been and still is committed to its opposition to the deployment of weapons of mass destruction while Europeans violated their commitments in this regard by providing Iraq with such weapons during Iraqi 8-year imposed war against Iran under the ousted Saddam Hussein.

With the help of over 200 European and American companies, said the minister, Iraq had been able to use WMD against Iranians 400 times during its imposed war.

"I told them (EP representatives) in a friendly and clear tone that it was their countries that provided Iraq with such destructive facilities," Mottaki added.

As for the issue of Iran's nuclear programs, the minister said he made it clear for the Europeans that Tehran was ready to discuss a new plan regarding the issue so that it could make a link between stance of Europeans and that of Iran on its right to use peaceful nuclear technology.

Referring to the stances of Europe and Iran, He added "Europeans fear that Iran would probably deviate from its peaceful nuclear program towards building atomic bombs whereas Iran is seeking ways to act upon its indisputable right for acquiring peaceful nuclear technology."

Mottaki noted that concerning Iran's policy to support Iraq and formation of an Iraqi government as the final step in this respect, "We recommended two significant issues of terrorist moves and continued occupation of Iraq to be added to the agenda.

"At the meeting, we stressed that the Iraqi government should promote and indigenize security in the country."

The minister said that it was pointed out that a time table should be drawn up for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and it was reminded that continued occupation can lead to a pretext for further terrorist acts.

"The other point about Iraq mentioned at the meeting was the horrible images of the Abu Ghraib prison in the city of Basra, southern Iraq, where the Iraqi youth were tortured by the US and British soldiers and the head of EU Foreign Relations Commission was called upon to assign a committee with research on the issue and report the outcome to the European Parliament," he added.

The official said that Iran's proposal was welcomed and that the Europeans referred to a similar move in Guantanamo Bay prison.

"Similar to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, they called for closure of this detention center," he added.

He said that this was followed by a one-hour question-answer, during which questions were brought up by EU representatives, which provided a suitable opportunity for enlightenment of Europe's public opinion and their closer acquaintance with Iran's stance.

"Judging by the questions raised at the session, we realized that further steps are required for making contact with the public opinion of the European states.

"He declared the readiness of Iran's government and Foreign Ministry to pave the way for broader communication between the European communities and universities and Iranian higher educational centers," he said.

In response to a question whether Holocaust was discussed at the meeting, he said in reply to the great number of questions raised on the issue, they were recommended to consider the right form of question asked by Iran.

"It is interesting that they were by no way prepared to discuss the issue openly, but rather underlined that this was a historical event, while emphasizing the crimes committed by themselves.

"Meanwhile, we told them that if you insist on admitting that you have actually burnt six million men, neither President Ahmadinejad nor the Iranian nation will raise any objection. The second question concerned the reason the Europeans abuse Muslims to make up for such crimes, to which nobody answered," concluded Mottaki.

... Payvand News - 2/22/06 ... --

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