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Javad-Larijani: 'Torture is against Iran's policy'


Javad-Larijani: 'Torture is against Iran's policy'


Mohammad Javad-Larijani, critics say, is one of the Iran’s main advocates of a hardline interpretation of Islam. He is a top adviser to the supreme leader, and also the head of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights.

Euronews spoke with him in Geneva, about executions, torture allegations and international relations.

On the shooting death of a young woman amid protests in Tehran, filmed with a cellphone camera, he makes reference to an extradition request. Euronews asked UK authorities for more on this; the official answer was: “no comment”.

Mohamed Abdel Azim, euronews: “The fact is many people are saying that hanging and emprisonment of opposition leaders is against democracy.”

Mohammad Javad-Larijani: “Well, Nobody is hanged because of demonstration of opposition. But violence is someting that law will forbid. So, nobody is hanged for demonstration for opposition. Being in prison is only because of inciting violence.”

euronews: “But do you consider them as protesters or waging war against God (as ‘Mouhareb)?’”

Javad-Larijani: “Mouhareb is another issue, and not political protest. Mouhareb is a person endorsing terrorist activities to bring down the government.”

euronews: “And are you considering them as Mouhareb, the protesters?”

Javad-Larijani: “Yea… No, No… protesters are protesters.”

euronews: “Yes, but for example Mousavi or Karoubi…”

Javad-Larijani: “Not only them. The people of the street who protest one political issue or another, why should you call them Mouhareb? Mouhareb is a person endorsing actively violence against the state. This is quite different.”

euronews: “But, human rights means no execution. Iranians, for example, executed two people a few weeks ago. How could you explain the official position of those two exections?”

Javad-Larijani: “Well, first of all, those two executions don’t have any relation with the demonstrations. They were jailed seven months before the elections. They were in charge of the bombing in the mosque in Sheraz which killed 20 people.”

euronews: “Those people, their families and especially the opposition were talking about torture inside Iranian prisons.”

Javad-Larijani: “I can not claim perfection like any other country in the world. But torture is against our constitution, is against Islam and against the policy of the government.”

euronews: “The whole world saw the young Neda, who apparently died in front of the camera. How do you explain this?”

Javad-Larijani: “Neda Agha-Soltan… it was a very cruel thing that happened. It is a crime that we don’t know the extent of yet. With all the information that we have, the person responsible for that criminal act right now is walking in one of the capital’s of the European countries, with full support. We asked them (for) extradition to Iran. They refused that.”

euronews: “But the video shocked millions of people in western countries.”

Javad-Larijani: “It shocked millions of people in Iran as well. Who did it? This is a big question. And how they were ready to do it, and how they took the film, and how… you know a guy came in the night before this crime and flew back to the capital of a European country the day after, with the whole movie with him. So I think he is the key person. He knows all the information. And the United Kingdom is in charge of that. They are responsible. They should put that person into full interrogation. He holds the key for that crime.”

euronews: “I see. In western countries, we are always talking and western people are accusing Iran of imprisoning the opposition, and this is in fact considered as a violation of human rights.”

Javad-Larijani: “Well, I think that it is not a violation of human rights if somebody is endorsing violence. You should definitely pursue him by law. Protest is allowed but violence is not allowed.”

euronews: “And in western countries you are accused of not being a democratic country.”

Javad-Larijani: “Well, I think that Westerners are very egocentric and double-standard in their judgements. While they are accusing us, they are enjoying hot coffee with dictators and they offer
them lavishly their defence systems. Let us list the countries enjoying full support of western countries. Which one is democratic?”

euronews: “But they have their own lists talking about Moussavi or Karoubi and other people who are already in prison like the former Industry Minister or the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.”

Javad-Larijani: “Well, Moussavi and Karoubi are not in prison.”

euronews: “Yes, they are not.”

Javad-Larijani: “Obviously, we had a very fantastic election. In terms of elections, it was a unique one. It was the most open election. Debate and participation. Obviously, on the last minute of elections day, he kicked out the rules of democratic competition. And he, unilateraly, announced himself
the winner and asked his followers to come to the street.”

euronews: “There are voices from inside Iran and outside Iran like Mujahidine Khalq, always saying for western countries that we are oppressed, we are in prison, we are arrested… all this making a profile of the Iranian government as not exactly a democratic state.”

Javad-Larijani: “This Mujaheddine Khalq are a notorious terrorist group which has killed more than 5,000 people in Iran, and I mean cold-blooded killing.”

euronews: “They are, as well, relaying accusations of people like Nobel Prize (laureate) Sherin Ebadi as well, who is accusing Iran clearly. Lately she said: ‘Come and help us, please, to install democracy in Iran.’”

Javad-Larijani: “Well, I am afraid Sherin Ebady is mostly presenting the voice of the White House more than the voice of Iranian women. She is totaly detached from the aspirations of Iranian women. She should go among Iranian women, not live outside. So, I think what she saying is the voice of the White House, not the voice of Iranian nations.”

euronews: “But from the other side they are saying that the Iranian government is banning internet access, banning radio stations, banning foreign television, and these are in fact also considered as human rights violations.”

Javad-Larijani: “Well, we feel that if there’s an occasion or ceremony or things like that, we get the signal of our security people that there may be a threat of some bombing or terrorist activity, they try to curve every thing. This is happening every where.”

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