‘I am a human rights professor,’ Iranian FM Zarif responds to question on rights abuses

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Responding to a question regarding Iran’s human rights abuses, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran, said "I am a human rights professor, I have taught human rights for over 30 years,” at the 2019 Munich Security Conference.

“I believe human rights for us [Iran] is a security requirement – not a moral nicety,” Zarif added.

When pressed by BBC’s Lyse Doucet about eight environmentalists who have been imprisoned in Iran for “no reason,” Javad Zarif mentioned the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, to which Doucet said, “let’s leave that aside.”

“You are still selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, why should I set aside Khashoggi?” Zarif said, without answering the question regarding the jailed environmentalists.

The Munich Security Conference, which takes place in Germany, aims to contribute to the peaceful resolution of conflicts by sustaining dialogue. The conference is a forum for debating international security policy.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Iranian government arrested, imprisoned or executed at least 860 journalists in the three decades between the Islamic revolution in 1979 and 2009, according to documents leaked to media monitoring group Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF).

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