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British FM Johnson slammed over rights report omission

Published: Updated:

The UK’s most senior diplomat, Boris Johnson, has been criticized after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office removed any mention of ethnic rights in its latest report on human rights in Iran, Ahwaz News TV reported.

Previous reports have always acknowledged Iran’s ‘systematic contravention of ethnic rights enshrined in Article 15 and have highlighted the plight of Kurds and Ahwazi Arabs’, the report added.

But Ahwazi activists say the issue’s omission from the latest report is a move of ‘blatant appeasement’ by Johnson.

And they say the British FM’s failure to acknowledge the grievances of the Ahwazis and the apparent watering down human rights concerns has sparked alarm among Ahwazi human rights advocates the report added.

In a statement the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) said of the move: “Following the end of sanctions on Iran, UK economic interests have turned to the oil industry in Iran, indicating that exports are likely to grow in the near future.

“For many years now, the Ahwazi Arabs have struggled against the inequity caused by the oil industry in Iran and, in response, they have been violently targeted by the Iranian intelligence officials and security forces.”

The statement added that to avoid any further conflicts, Ahwazi advocates were calling on the UK Foreign Office to “have a more cautious approach regarding British investments in the region and to acknowledge minority rights as indivisible in their assessments”.

The Ahwazis fear the omission is a ‘prelude to an investment drive that will further alienate and impoverish’ them furthermore despite having already suffered at the hands of the government in Tehran, who, along with their foreign allies have plundered local resources, the report added.