Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian foreign minister, was interviewed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour on the evening of March 1 as he was wrapping up a tense visit to Geneva, Switzerland.
When asked direct and challenging questions related to the Islamic Republic’s bloody crackdown on months-long anti-government protests in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands were illegally arrested, Amir-Abdollahian struggled to provide satisfactory answers.
Eventually, he turned to an off-camera translator and attempted to discredit the interview by claiming that Amanpour was engaging in an argument rather than conducting an interview.
"This is not the way to conduct an interview. Women in Iran have all the necessary, required freedoms within the framework of the law," Amir-Abdollahian said.
During the 25-minute interview, Amir-Abdollahian told Amanpour at least nine lies:
- We respect human rights thoroughly;
- What started as peaceful demonstrations turned violent due to foreign intervention;
- Security forces have not used lethal force against protestors;
- Police are not allowed to carry weapons;
- No one was arrested during the demonstrations in autumn;
- The Islamic Republic is a powerful democracy, particularly compared to many other countries;
- Women in Iran are free to pursue their aspirations within the limits of the law;
- In the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the Islamic Republic has not provided weapons to either side;
- Western media’s try to connect every issue to the Iranian authorities, including the "natural death” of a girl.
Amir-Abdollahian was referring to the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, which triggered the ongoing wave of protests. Amini had fallen into a coma after being tortured while in the custody of morality police.
The secretary-general of the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the president of the UN Human Rights Council have all found that the Islamic Republic systematically and flagrantly violates its international human rights obligations and domestic regulations.
That's why the Human Rights Council appointed a special rapporteur to monitor the human rights situation in Iran several years ago.
In November, the council established an international fact-finding mission to “collect, consolidate and analyze” evidence of rights violations linked to the months-long nationwide protests.
Claims that foreign government are involved in the demonstrations have been deemed unacceptable by many, including former officials of the Islamic Republic such as Mirhossein Mousavi and Mohammad Khatami.
Even politicians like Ali Larijani have joined other officials in urging the Islamic Republic’s leadership to "listen to the people’s protests.”
Despite Amir-Abdollahian's denial of killing or arresting protesters, videos posted on social media show armed forces firing directly at protesters, leaving no doubt as to what happened.
In the interview with Amanpour, the foreign minister also rejected widespread evidence that Tehran has supplied drones to Russia, contradicting a statement he made last autumn.
That day, this fearless liar embodied the essence of Iran's ruling system by making false accusations and denying responsibility for killing people, while at the same time claiming that the deaths were "natural."
In the end, Amir-Abdollahian appeared ignorant despite his attempts to project a false sense of confidence, oblivious to the fact that the public has become increasingly aware of the kind of government he represents.