Iran accused the US of “hypocrisy” on human rights Tuesday, after President Joe Biden said he would impose “further costs” over its response to protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.
A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since the 22-year-old Kurdish woman died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.
The street violence has led to the deaths of dozens of people — mostly protesters but also members of the security forces — and hundreds of arrests.
“It would have been better for Mr. Joe Biden to think a little about the human rights record of his own country before making humanitarian gestures, although hypocrisy does not need to be thought through,” foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in an Instagram post, reported by Iranian media.
“The US president should be concerned about the numerous sanctions… against the Iranian nation, the sanctions whose imposition against any nation is a clear example of a crime against humanity,” he added.
Kanani was responding to a statement released by the White House late Monday in which Biden said he would impose unspecified additional measures against Iran later this week on top of the crippling sanctions already in force over Iran’s nuclear activities.
“This week, the United States will be imposing further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protesters. We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely,” Biden said.
“The United States stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery,” he added.
Earlier Monday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the US and Israel of fomenting the unrest rocking the country.
“I say clearly that these riots and the insecurity were engineered by America and the occupying, false Zionist regime, as well as their paid agents,” he said.