The envoys of the United Kingdom and all 27 European Union member states except Hungary and Poland have boycotted a Tehran meeting marking the 44th anniversary of the revolution that established the Islamic Republic, the opposition activist collective 1500tasvir says.
It was not immediately clear which other countries boycotted the February 9 event hosted by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. This year's 10-day celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 revolution come amid international condemnation of a bloody crackdown by the Iranian authorities on anti-government demonstrations that have swept Iran for more than four months.
In his speech to the foreign envoys, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blamed “the arrogant powers' unilateralism and domination along with their double standard about human rights issues” for the tensions arising across the world, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.
Ties between Tehran and the West have degraded in recent months. The European Union, the UK, the United States, which has no direct diplomatic ties with Iran, and other countries have slapped several rounds of sanctions on the Iranian clerical regime over its supply of military drones to Russia and its clampdown on the ongoing protests demanding more freedoms and women’s rights.
Human rights activists say security forces have killed more than 520 people and illegally detained over 19,000 in connection with the protests. Following biased trials, the judiciary handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.
The families of several victims killed by state authorities have created the hashtag "#BoycottIRIDay" on Twitter and are asking diplomatic missions based in Iran to boycott the ceremonies for the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
Videos posted online in recent days show demonstrators in cities across the country setting fire to banners hung in public places to promote the revolution and anniversary celebrations around it.
The protest movement triggered by the September death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of morality police poses one of the most serious challenges to the theocracy installed in 1979.