In response to the criticism against the bloody suppression of protests by Iran's moral police, president Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday, 22 September, pointed at all the people killed by the American police, according to an AP report.
“Did all these deaths get investigated?” he asked.
Speaking to the press in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, he lamented the "double standards" in western countries when it comes to human rights. He also mentioned deaths of women in Britain that he claimed were not investigated.
Raisi also said that the death of an Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody must be “steadfastly” investigated.
Amini, who was taken to a police station for not donning the hijab properly and for a "re-education" session, wound up dead in a nearby hospital due to head injuries. Her death sparked protests in which 31 people have died so far, AFP reported on Thursday.
“I contacted her family at the very first opportunity and I assured them we would continue steadfastly to investigate that incident. Our utmost preoccupation is the safeguarding of the rights of every citizen,” Raisi told reporters.
Raisi Condemns 'Double Standards' at UN
Raisi's comments on Thursday echoed the speech he delivered in front of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in which he insisted that his country exemplified justice and human rights, according to The New York Times.
Even though his speech made no mention of the widespread anti-government protests or the death of Mahsa Amini, it reportedly condemned the West's "double standards" and pointed to the behavior of other nations, including Canada’s atrocities against indigenous children.
“The United States keeps equivocating militarism with security and has pursued its interests in the world at the expense of other countries,” Raisi reportedly said.
CNN Interview Cancelled Over Hijab
In a related incident, CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour claimed that Raisi did not turn up for a scheduled interview. Amanpour said that his aide insisted that she wear a headscarf if she wanted to interview Raisi.
She claimed that Raisi's aide said that the interview would not take place if she did not wear a headscarf as it was "a matter of respect" and referred to "the situation in Iran," hinting at the ongoing protests.
Ebrahim Raisi, an ‘ultraconservative’, won Iran's presidential election by a landslide in June, replacing moderate Hassan Rouhani.
The 60-year-old, who has also been the Chief Justice since 2019, has formerly held several other posts in the country's judicial branch following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Raisi, who is known to hold “deeply conservative” views on many social issues including the role of women in public life, has been named in Iranian media as a possible successor to Khamenei, according to AFP.
(With inputs from AFP, AP, and The New York Times.)
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