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Foreign Minister Fefends Iran's Human Rights Track

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki defended the human rights situation in Iran in an interview with Spiegel.

He primarily supported the outcome of the elections insisting that "25 million people voted for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but the West apparently had other expectations."

He rejected the allegations of election fraud saying: "Such allegations are investigated in Iran, and even in these elections, due to the request from the opposition and the Supreme Leader the votes were recounted and then the results became legally binding."

He also dismissed allegations of coercing detained reformists into confession saying: "How can you prove such a statement? On the contrary, the accused repeated these confessions in an open space and in the presence of media representatives and other witnesses."

Mottaki also noted the controversial stoning sentence of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and claimed the protests against it are part of "a fraudulent game" organized by European politicians and media.

He told the Spiegel reporter: "You belong to a country that murdered millions of people in a cruel war and now you want to speak of human rights to me?"

He added that stoning is a "rare" sentence in Iran and warned the West against being "misled by the special groups that are trying to create these accusation in order to damage Iran's reputation."

He also stated: "We have attained more information about the behind the scene participants of this game."

He maintained that currently no final decision has been made about Mohammadi Ashtiani's case.

Mottaki was also questioned on the high rate of executions in Iran which he attributed to the increasing drug trade in Iran due to the geographic situation of the country.

He maintained that these people are subjected to a fair trial and most of the executed are drug smugglers and "therefore we take a strong and firm stance against them."

He told the Speigel reporter: "This policy also protects the youth and people of your country because Germany in one of the target markets for these drugs."

Questioned about the possibility that executions also include political prisoners, Mottaki said: "In Iran, no one has been executed for political reasons and you do not have any evidence to the contrary."

... Payvand News - 09/01/10 ... --

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