Tehran says the selection of women’s rights activist Narges Mohammadi was “political”
Tehran has condemned the Nobel Peace Prize committee after it awarded an Iranian rights campaigner, calling the move “politically motivated” and alleging that the activist had engaged in “criminal acts.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement early on Saturday addressing the Nobel committee, not long after it selected Narges Mohammadi for its 2023 peace prize. Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani argued that the organization had made a “political move in line with the meddlesome and anti-Iran policy of some European governments.”
“The Nobel Peace committee has awarded its peace prize to someone who has been found guilty of frequently violating the law and engaging in criminal acts. We condemn the move by the Nobel committee as spiteful and politically motivated,” Kanaani added.
The Nobel committee unveiled the prestigious award for Mohammadi less than one day prior, saying she was chosen for her “fight against the oppression of women in Iran.” The activist is currently serving a ten-year sentence after her latest run-in with the law in 2021, when she was accused of threatening Iran’s national security and spreading propaganda, among other offenses.
The Iranian spokesman slammed the Nobel committee’s announcement, saying it was “riddled with false and counterfactual claims about Iran’s developments.” He added that the award showed that some European states seek to “falsify news and produce misguided and deviant narratives” about the Islamic Republic.
Kanaani urged the committee to award the peace prize only to “individuals or organizations that sincerely seek to promote the culture of peace and justice in the world,” instead of those “serving as a tool to implement the hypocritical policies of some Western countries.”
Tehran has come under fire from several Western governments and human-rights organizations over its gender-based policies, namely its mandatory dress code requiring women to wear headscarves in public.
The country was gripped by months of violent protests last year following the death of a young woman in police custody who was accused of violating the mandate. The protests resulted in thousands of arrests and the further loss of life among demonstrators and security forces. The Iranian government blamed Western countries for the chaos.
October 07, 2023 at 01:27PM