In an exclusive interview, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bakeri told NDTV that “false narratives are being created by foreign powers” about Iran. Iran’s deputy foreign minister’s comments came in response to questions about ongoing protests in the country.
Iran has accused its foreign enemies of fomenting violence in the country during protests since Mahsa Amini’s death in custody on September 16.
Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, died three days after being arrested in Tehran by morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s mandatory hijab law.
Asked how concerned the Iranian government was two months after the protests, the deputy foreign minister told NDTV: “In the name of God, I want to emphasize that criticism and raising objections is one of the pillars of democracy, and on our religious beliefs which is also reflected in the Iranian constitution. This right is given to the people. Given and we all have a duty to look and listen to people’s different views and criticisms.”
He added: “However, we should pay attention to the difference between a peaceful assembly and a violent assembly. Also, we should pay attention to the interference of foreign powers in Iran’s internal affairs and the misrepresentation that is being made about the events. In Iran, which is in their own interests. consistent with.”
He also said: “Look at how some European powers are meddling in Iran. If you look at their approach to the news, especially in the Persian-language media based in London, you can see the depth of their meddling in Iran’s internal affairs.”
When the minister was reminded that it was the common people of Iran who were protesting, including the country’s football team, Mr Bakeri said: “In a democratic system, people are free to express their opinions, express their objections. But what is important is the direction being given.” [to these protests] by foreign rule. The Western regime is trying to steer these protests and public expression in a certain direction.”
Asked whether Iran was becoming more brutal in its handling of protesters as UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) said 300 people, including 40 children, had been killed so far, the minister said the number was completely wrong.
Asked whether the Iranian authorities should reconsider giving women more freedom in the country, Mr. Bakheri said: “After the success of the Islamic Revolution, Iranian women have made a lot of progress. So, how was this possible? Women have played an important role in the government of Iran and they are the country’s leaders. holding top positions as managers and academics. Would this have been possible in a country where there was no freedom for women?”
When told that the media is not being allowed in Iran, the minister clarified that the Iranian government has no problem with independent media. “We have no problem allowing them in, giving them a chance to see the reality for themselves. But the problem is that some of them are controlled by Western regimes.”
Highlighting the matter further, he said, Iran has no problem in allowing Indian media to visit the country.
In view of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the stand taken by the Indian government, Mr. Bakeri, while appreciating what he called the “smartness” of the Indian government, said: “India is not under the influence of the kind of environment some are creating. It is because of the independent attitude and vision of the Indian government. .”
The deputy foreign minister added: “Iran and India are two independent powers. They are not following Western regimes and are not taking steps in line with the interests of Western regimes. Both Iran and India have taken steps on the conflict in Ukraine. A neutral position. We are not supporting war and Russia And we have relations with Ukraine.”