Iran calls for UN to intervene in UK riots


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has denounced the British government for its "violent suppression" of the protesters. His opposition calls it hypocrisy and opportunism.


Rick Gershon/Staff

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has leapt at the opportunity to chide the British government over its handling of recent riots in major UK cities which pitched police against angry mobs of youth looting, burning, robbing and creating havoc after the fatal shooting of a young man in north London.

Iran has gone all out in its effort to get back at the UK government’s regular condemnation of Iran’s dismal human rights records, in particular its brutal crushing of protesters after the disputed 2009 elections.

As well as calling for the UN Security Council to intervene over the British government’s handling of the riots, Iran has offered to send a team of experts to investigate potential human rights abuses.

His proposal met by stony silence from the UN, Ahmadinejad criticized the international body saying: “What else should happen for the Security Council to react and condemn one of its own members?”

“If one percent of this happens in countries that oppose the West, they scream until they are hoarse,” he said.

Ahmadinejad denounced the British government for its "violent suppression" of the protesters on state radio and called for an end to what he described as the "killing and brutal beating" of "the opposition" angry with the government's financial policies.

"The real opposition are the people who are beaten up and killed on the streets of London, those whose voices are not heard by anyone," he said.

Mimicking moves by some European embassies in Tehran who opened their doors for opposition protesters during the 2009 crackdown, some conservative websites in Iran called on the Iranian embassy in London to offer refuge to "UK protesters in need of protection".

The Iranian foreign ministry has also issued travel warnings advising against any unnecessary travel to the UK.

However the irony that the rioters in the UK were violent and suffered no crackdown and the protestors in Iran, as well as other countries, have been peaceful and were killed is not lost on the Iranian opposition, which has accused the regime of hypocrisy and opportunism in "deliberately portraying rioting and looting as political protests".

Iran is not alone at having a jab at Britain. It’s only Arab ally, the Syrian regime, which has been heavily criticized for its brutal crackdown on protesters, has also been quick to chime in: "To hear the Prime Minister of England describing the riots and the rioters in England by using the term 'gangs', while they don't allow us to use the same term for the armed groups and the terrorist groups in my country - this is hypocrisy. This is arrogance," said Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the UN.

Egypt too, according to Reuters, could not resist making a jab at Britain, Egypt’s former colonizer.

"We will send Egyptian NGOs (to London) to check it out,” said an Egyptian official, in reference to Westerners who monitored Mubarak's attempts to quell protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Using the same phrase that Britain, America, France and Russia among others used against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's Prime Minister said British Prime Minister David Cameron had "lost legitimacy" in the wake of the riots.