1 of 2 | Israelis hold placards in support of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini during a solidarity protest in Jerusalem on October 6, 2022. Amini, 22, died after detained by the morality police in Iran. File Photo by Debbie Hill UPI | License Photo
Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Iran is rebuking a meeting between protesters and French President Emmanuel Macron, with spokesperson Nasser Kanani calling it "regrettable and shameful."
Macron met with Iranian dissidents Masih Alinejad, Shima Babaei, Roya Piraei and Ladan Boroumand on Friday to discuss ongoing protests in the country. Macron hailed the women as revolutionaries.
"I want to emphasize our respect and admiration in the context of the revolution they are leading," Macron said, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic international newspaper based in London.
In response to the meeting and comments from Macron, Kanani was critical of France's president and his support of the rebellion.
"It is surprising that the president of a country that claims freedom meets with a hated person who has clearly tried to spread hatred and violent and terrorist acts in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as against the Iranian diplomatic places and diplomats in recent months," he said, according to Radio France Internationale.
The revolution was sparked by the death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, while she was in police custody in the capital city Tehran in September.
Amini was arrested for violating Iran's strict dress code for women, leading to widespread protests led by women who took to the streets, heads uncovered, in defiance of the nation's policy.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran estimates as many as 200 cities across all 31 provinces have been part of the protests.
France was not the lone target of Iran's rebuttal. Germany was also criticized for not "respecting other countries' sovereignty while harbouring terrorist and separatist groups hostile to the Islamic republic." This comes after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz swiped at the Iranian government for its efforts to suppress the rebellion with violence.
"What kind of government are you that shoots at its own citizens? Anyone who acts in this way must expect our resistance," Scholz said on his podcast.
In a statement from Tehran, Iran's leadership said some, "have made human rights the basis of political games," while accusing Germany of provocation.
Hundreds gather for the Iranian American Women Foundation's candlelight vigil for Mahsa Amini at West Hollywood Park in West Hollywood, Calif., on September 29, 2022. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo