Iran summons British, Norwegian envoys amid mass protests

Iran's foreign ministry is lashing out at Western nations over their support for protesters in the Middle Eastern country. Photo by Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE
Iran's foreign ministry is lashing out at Western nations over their support for protesters in the Middle Eastern country. Photo by Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Iran's foreign ministry has summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors in Tehran to lodge complaints over their countries' response to recent protests that have erupted in the Middle Eastern country.

The ambassadors were summoned over the weekend amid ongoing mass protests in the country over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in police custody.


Amini, who was visiting Tehran with her family, died Sept. 16, days after being arrested by Iran's so-called morality police called Guidance Patrol over allegations of violating the country's strike hijab laws.

Her death has sparked nationwide protests that have spread to demonstrations outside Iranian embassies throughout Western countries where politicians have also voiced their support for the women-led movement.

Over the weekend, Tehran specifically accused Britain and Norway of meddling in its internal affairs, Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Sunday.

The ministry said in a statement carried by IRNA that it had called on British ambassador Simon Shercliff on Saturday in response to the "hostile reporting" by Persian-language media based in London.

The "severe protest" lodged by the ministry voiced its anger over Britain hosting the media outlets that broadcast what Tehran sees as an invitation to expand anti-Iran riots, which the ministry accused them of putting at the top of their agenda.


According to Britain-based Iran International, its TV station along with Manoto TV and BBC Persian are broadcast via satellite TV into the Middle Eastern country from Britain.

The Iranian foreign ministry also summoned Norwegian ambassador Sigvald Hauge over Norwegian Parliament President Masud Gharahkhani's comments of support for the protest.

The Iranian-Norwegian politician has repeatedly voiced condemnation of the Iranian regime while calling for support for protesters online.

"I was born in Tehran. Norway is my country. Every single day I am grateful that I live in a country that is built on democracy, freedom, human rights and freedom of expression," he tweeted Sunday. "These are the same values that young people are fighting for in Iran."

The Iranian ministry called his comments "prejudging and unrealistic" as well as meddling in Iran's internal affairs, according to a second report by IRNA.

The ministry has also issued a sweeping condemnation of politicians in the United States and Europe as well as their media for allegedly having "abused" Amini's death to support "rioters and disrupters of the nation's security with the slogan of supporting the rights of the Iranian nation."

"Undoubtedly, the cognitive and combined war of the enemies against the Iranian nation will be recorded in history this time along with hundreds of cases of their disgraceful failures," the ministry's statement said. "Those who claim to defend the rights of the Iranian nation should put aside their false slogans and put an end to decades of cruel and inhumane sanctions against the Iranian nation."


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