“Flattery and subservience to violent and totalitarian regimes only encourages further violence and aggression,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lior Haiat.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A spokesman from Israel’s Foreign Ministry had harsh criticism for the European Union over its decision to send a senior representative to the inauguration of the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi.
Lior Haiat referred to Raisi as the “butcher of Tehran” and said he was troubled by the EU’s “puzzling” choice to send a diplomat to attend his swearing-in ceremony.
“The new Iranian president has the blood of thousands of Iranian citizens on his hands and the EU participation gives legitimacy to the Iranian attack and the policy of aggression of the Ayatollahs’ government,” Haiat wrote on Twitter.
“Flattery and subservience to violent and totalitarian regimes only encourages further violence and aggression.”
Haiat also notedthat Iran was behind a recent drone attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which killed one British and one Romanian national. He called the attack “an act of state terrorism.”
“We strongly recommend the EU to immediately cancel their shameful participation in the inauguration ceremony,” Haiat concluded.
Europe’s efforts to forge ties with Raisi have drawn ire from Iranian dissidents and activists.
After Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen congratulated Raisi for his June 2021 election victory, several high-profile Iranians spoke out against the move.
Kaveh Moussavi, an Iranian human rights lawyer based in the UK, tweeted, “Shame on you, president of Austria, congratulating a mass murderer who through massive fraud has muscled his way to the presidency of Iran.”
“We are going to remember this abject cowardice when we rid Iran of this murderous kleptocracy! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!”
Iranian-Norwegian columnist Mina Bai wrote, “I think it is disgusting that a European president from a democratic country congratulates a man who has been directly involved in the execution of thousands of political prisoners.”
On the heels of the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the nation’s long-ruling Shah, Raisi became a major player in the new Sharia-based government.
During his time as deputy prosecutor of Tehran in 1985, activists say that Raisi was a member of a so-called “death committee” which sentenced political dissidents – largely from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) — to death, usually without a trial.
In a 2018 report, Amnesty International specifically identified Raisi as one of the key backers of the mass executions.
“Raisi’s only place is in the [defendant’s] dock, not the presidency,” Shadi Sadr, executive director of London-based NGO Justice for Iran, told AFP.