Even as Iran waged a violent crackdown at home that advocacy groups say has killed seven people and wounded hundreds more, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran insists that his country was a role model for justice and human rights as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
Mr. Raisi’s remarks – in a lengthy speech mixed with religious lectures and political rhetoric – do not mention widespread anti-government protests or the death of the young woman that aroused them. Nor did he address health concerns surrounding the country’s supreme leader, 83-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is believed to be critically ill.
Instead, in his first appearance at the United Nations, Mr. Raisi used the stage to criticize the United States and other Western countries for maintaining sanctions against Iran.
“We are defenders of the fight against injustice,” said Mr. Raisi, who has been accused by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of crimes against humanity. execute 5,000 political prisoners in the 1980s. He has not denied involvement and has defended the executions.
Raisi criticized the US several times in his speech, accusing it of waging mock wars in the Middle East and unfairly imposing sanctions and pressure on Iran.
“The United States continues to view militarism with security and pursues its interests in the world at the expense of other countries,” Raisi said.
Above Negotiations stalled to amend 2015 deal To limit Iran’s nuclear program, Raisi reiterated the need for assurances from Washington that the country will not unilaterally exit the agreement as it did under the Trump administration. And he repeated Iran’s insistence that it is not developing nuclear weapons.
Protests have spread across Iran starting next weekend Mahsa Amini, 22, died in ethical police custody on Friday. She was arrested for breaking a law that requires women to wear headscarves in public. Since then, more and more Iranians have taken to the streets in cities to protest her death and the treatment of women in Iran.
Outside the UN headquarters in New York, groups of Iranians and members of various exiled opposition groups staged protests against Raisi and in solidarity with the Iranian people, chanting Ms. they protest.