Iran urges France to listen to protesters, avoid violence
The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson says the French government must talk to its people and listen to their voices.
Iran on Friday urged France to listen to protesters and avoid violence after more than 450 people were arrested and nearly as many police were injured in demonstrations against pension reforms.
Protesters on Thursday clashed with French security forces in the most serious violence yet of a three-month revolt against President Emmanuel Macron's decision to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani tweeted that "the French government must talk to its people and listen to their voices."
"We do not support destruction or rioting, but we maintain that instead of creating chaos in other countries, listen to the voice of your people and avoid violence against them," Kanaani pointed out.
The French government should talk to its people and listen to their voices.— Nasser Kanaani (@IRIMFA_SPOX) March 24, 2023
This kind of violence has nothing to do with leaning on the chair of moral lessons and preaching to others.1/2 pic.twitter.com/W0HWVI79l2
"Those who sow the wind reap the whirlwind," the Iranian diplomat said, adding that such "violence contradicts sitting on the chair of morality lessons and preaching to others."
On Friday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed that 457 people had been arrested and 441 members of the security forces injured the day before during the protests.
Darmanin dismissed calls from protesters to withdraw the pensions reform.
"I don't think we should withdraw this law because of violence," the French Minister said. "If so, that means there's no state. We should accept a democratic, social debate, but not a violent debate."
Read more: Striking oil workers requisitioned by French government
Iran slams France's hypocrisy, brutality during anti-reform protests
In mid-March, Kanaani also slammed the French government for its harsh crackdown on protesters, highlighting that Paris preaches to others about human rights and still it violates them on its own territory.
"Human rights lectures of the self-proclaimed rights advocates are for others. They are stranger to them (their own human rights lectures). There are many of these examples in the US and Europe!," he considered.
It is noteworthy that between November 2018 and January 2019, a minimum of 12 people were killed during the French security forces' crackdown on the Yellow Vest protests, who were protesting against the living and economic conditions.
The big picture
In recent months, Iran had been the target of Western-fueled riots since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in mid-September, whose demise was wrongfully blamed on the Iranian police.
At the time, France took the chance, joined the anti-Iran campaign, and raced to condemn Tehran.
During an interview for France Inter radio on November 14, French President Emmanuel Macron called for imposing international sanctions against Iranian officials, saying, "I am in favor of a strong diplomatic reaction and sanctions on the figures of the regime who have a responsibility" in what he called "the repression of this revolution."
Read more: France's Constitutional Council mulling passing pension reform