New Delhi: The Iranian government has been “falsely implicated” by the international community over the death of Mahsa Amini, and terrorists and large scale weapons have made their way into Iran in the wake of the protests, according to Khadijeh Karimi, Director General of International Affairs of the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs.
In an exclusive interview to ABP Live, Karimi, who works under Iran’s Presidential Office, said the visuals, reports and images that have emerged from the protests are all the result of a “media war”.
Karimi, who is currently visiting India, said the world began to “react” even before the main cause of Amini’s death could be ascertained by the forensic analysis and that created a “pressure” on Amini’s family.
Amini died in September 2022 after she was arrested by Iran’s moral police for not wearing the hijab properly. She died three days later and her family said it happened due to torture meted out to her while she was in custody.
“Several weapons have entered Iran and those who are carrying out the protests are using different kinds of firearms and they are violating rules and disturbing the peaceful lives of the people. They have been trained outside of Iran to carry out violence inside the country. They are destroying private and public properties. They do not have logical demands,” Karimi said.
According to Karimi, the protests over Amini’s death have spiralled out of control due to violent acts by “outsiders” who are trained on “ISIS-type” terror module.
She referred to the terrorist attack that took place in Shah Cheragh Shrine in which 15 people were killed and about 40 were severely injured. ISIS (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
She said the main terrorist who carried out these attacks was “not an Iranian”.
She said young men are being trained to build Molotov cocktails and they do violence by destroying. “They are being trained to carry out ISIS-like operations.”
‘Widespread protests by women of Iran not real’
According to Karimi, the world is only talking of torture on Iranian women while not discussing about the achievements made by them.
“The visuals, photos and stories that are emerging in the international media are not real. The story started with Mashsa Amini and her death but before her forensic analysis reports came out, the news channels started to spread stories that she was killed by the security police of Iran,” Karimi said.
She added that while it was “natural and logical” for the Iranian people to protest and understand the cause of her death, it spiralled out of control due to the false information.
“People are free to peacefully demonstrate and protest in Iran,” she said, adding that it is due to the “pressure from international media” that the peaceful demonstrations turned into “violent riots” and then spiralled out of control.
According to Karimi, not more than 200 people actually came down to protest Amini’s death.
“This means more than 99 percent people are not protesting,” she said, highlighting the fact that amongst the protestors, 88 percent were men and only 12 percent were women.
Police had to take action because these were not peaceful demonstrations and peaceful assemblies. But none of the police personnel had used firearms. They restrained themselves as much as possible, she said.
On Iranian women protesting against mandatory wearing of the ‘hijab’, Karimi said, “What is presented about Iran in front of the world is strict rules of hijab. But what I want to say is that like other countries we also have a certain dressing code that represents our norms, our values, our cultures and different kinds of dressing is allowed for men and women so far they do not violate the dressing code rules. Hijab is a kind of normative covering.”
She said Iranian women are excelling in the field of education, health, media as well as sports at present.
According to Karimi, a majority of Iranian women have achieved literacy and are now turning out to be entrepreneurs of knowledge-based firms.
‘United Nations has no right to investigate’
Following Amini’s death, the UN human rights body launched an independent investigation into the deadly violence against protesters in Iran in November. The Human Rights Council has instituted a fact-finding mission, related to the protests that began on September 16, 2022.
“There are several things carried out globally which are against human rights. Even in the US, one of the reports in the Washington Post says that from 2015 till present, about 5,600 people were killed by the police of the US and 250 of them were women. Maximum number of prisons are in the US but there is no UN report or special UN session about them,” she added.
Karimi also said, “UN has no right to investigate … In several parts of the world people are under pressure. Like in Yemen, people are in need of their basic requirements – 70% of the people are in need of food and 90% are in need of humanitarian aid but no one holds a special session about them.”
She added: “But when it comes to one case in Iran, which is of course a very sad story and everybody in Iran is upset about that and the government has expressed sympathy since the beginning, but UN holding special session and special rapporteurs are introduced for Iran despite our women making several achievements, it is suspicious.”