Shame on You: Iranian Cleric Tells French FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tehran's Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami deplored French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s “blank check” comments, saying that the European country’s government should be ashamed of its human rights record.

Shame on You: Iranian Cleric Tells French FM

“Shame on you! You kill and blind your own people and then talk about human rights?” Ayatollah Khatami said, addressing a gathering of worshipers in Tehran on Friday.

“Do you even understand what human rights are?” the cleric said, adding that the French government should “go to hell” with its blank check.

Iran does not want any blank check and will resist to defend its national interests, he added.

In meddlesome comments on Thursday, Le Drian called for the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer charged with spying, and warned Iran that France’s adherence to the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) does not give it “a blank check” on human rights.

"We have made considerable efforts with Iran to keep the nuclear accord (reached between Tehran and world powers) despite the American withdrawal," Le Drian said. "(But) our effort to keep the Vienna accord is not a blank check for Iran and certainly not with regard to human rights, and that's why France will do everything to secure Mrs Sotoudeh's freedom."

In May 2018, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

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