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Iranian Official Rationalizes State Murder of Gays — Then Slams U.S., Israel Over Human Rights

by Kilian Melloy
Wednesday Jun 12, 2019
Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif
Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif  (Source:AP Photo/Richard Drew)

It was without any evident awareness of irony that Iran's Javad Zarif, who serves as the country's Foreign Minister, told reports at a media conference that his government murders sexual minorities on the basis of "moral principles" before he then attacked the United States and Israel on what he termed "human rights" grounds.

According to Business Insider, Zarif claimed that Iran upholds "moral principles" in the killing of gays.

"These are moral principles regarding the behavior of people in general," Zarif told reporters, sounding much like anti-LGBTQ religious extremists of the evangelical Christian variety in the United States. "And that's because the law is upheld and you abide by laws."

Zarif then went on to answer a question about Israel by declaring that, "The U.S. and Israel are violating human rights, and the U.S. is continuing its crimes."

Zarif made his comments during a media conference in Tehran that was also attended by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, reported DW.

His remarks prompted a tart rejoinder from Iranian writer Shadi Amin, who lives in Germany.

"Violating LGBT rights under the guise of 'moral principles' shows that Zarif doesn't respect human rights. LGBT rights are human rights," DW quoted Amin as saying. "Iran must not violate them by giving religious or cultural reasons."

Business Insider took note of the fact that among the United Nations' membership are 70 countries that criminalize same-gender sexual activity. But only six nations punish sexual minorities with death — in addition to Iran, those nations are Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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