Judiciary Proposes Human Rights Talks With Austria

Judiciary Proposes Human Rights Talks With AustriaJudiciary Proposes Human Rights Talks With Austria

In a meeting with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Tehran on Tuesday, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani proposed   bilateral talks on human rights to help build a mutual understanding of the notion.

Fischer, who arrived in Tehran on Monday at the head of a delegation of senior business executives, has so far met some top officials, including his counterpart Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. He was quoted by IRNA as telling Amoli Larijani, "I very much agree with your suggestion. I will consider it and let you know about my decision through our ambassador in Tehran."

What human dignity involves differs from culture to culture, Amoli Larijani noted, criticizing the West for trying to impose its own idea of human rights and dignity on other societies.  "We believe that countries can lay down their own standard (of human rights), but it is vital that such a structure be focused on promoting  human dignity," the Austrian president responded.

Fischer's visit follows the announcement in July of a landmark nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), which was the outcome of about 22 months of negotiations mainly hosted by Austria.  

Before departing from Vienna, the Austrian president said he hoped to help "build bridges" with Tehran, adding that he would bring up the issue of human rights in his meetings. Tehran denies western allegations of human rights abuses in Iran, saying most charges are rooted in lack of insight into Iran's legal system.

"Austria is a land of dialogue. We reject violence. We want to build bridges and want to seize every opportunity to reduce tensions and promote a climate that promises a better future than if we remain stuck in confrontation," Fischer said in the Austrian capital, according to Reuters.