US Rights Report a Pretext for Interference

US Rights Report a Pretext for Interference  US Rights Report a Pretext for Interference

The Foreign Ministry said the accusations leveled against other countries in a US State Department's annual human rights report released on Thursday are meant to be used by the United States as a pretext to meddle in other countries' internal affairs.

"The allegations by the US State Department about violations of human rights serve as a lever for the US to increase its pressure and bargaining power against other countries and as a pretext to interfere in their internal affairs," the Foreign Ministry spokesperson was quoted by IRNA as saying on Friday.

"Instrumental use of such issues as human rights and the campaign against terrorism and extremism has grown into a major challenge to the international community," Marzieh Afkham lamented.

Referring to the United States' poor human rights record, she denounced the baseless charges it makes against other countries in this regard.

"The numerous instances of human rights violations, namely racial discrimination against American-African citizens and discrimination against religious minorities and immigrants as well as uncontrolled violence against American citizens, have drawn criticism from various international bodies, including the United Nations."

"It would be better if the United States took action to deal with its own domestic responsibilities instead of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries," Afkham said.

She referred to an implied threat of extended human rights sanctions against Iran in the report and said all such sanctions are "illegitimate" and "lack legal validity".

Pointing to the huge turnout in the last presidential election leading to a landslide victory by President Hassan Rouhani, Afkham said the government is committed to its electoral pledges to safeguard and promote civil liberties.

"The Iranian government has adhered to its internal and international obligations, driven merely by Islamic values and a sense of commitment to the Iranians and based on the Constitution, rather than as an attempt to address  allegations made in such reports."