23:25 GMT25 November 2020
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    11,000+ people have been arrested in the US amid protests and riots following the death of George Floyd, with police using teargas, rubber bullets and batons against protesters, bystanders and reporters. The European Parliament has called on member states to denounce the "disproportionate use of force" and "racist tendencies" among police.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has lashed out at Europe’s “so-called champions of human rights,” accusing them of failing to adequately condemn police violence and the suppression of peaceful protests in the US.

    “While the US regime is denying the right of breath to its own people and brutally suppressing the peaceful protests, the ‘deafening silence’ of the so-called champions of the human rights in Europe and beyond, demonstrates, once again, their insincerity, hypocrisy and double standards,” Mousavi wrote on Twitter, accompanying his post with photos of police officers with their knees on the necks of two men, including George Floyd, as well as the arrest of a young woman protester by multiple cops.

    Mousavi’s comments followed an Iranian foreign ministry appeal last week urging the international community to hold the US accountable for alleged human rights abuses both “at home and abroad.”

    Before that, Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei posted a video on his English-language Twitter account recalling the history of race relations in America, including the slave trade, centuries of economic disparity, and disproportionate police violence against African Americans.

    Tehran’s dig at European powers comes following the US and EU’s repeated criticism of alleged human rights violations in Iran, including during last year’s gas price hike protests, which saw several thousand arrests, and the deaths of up to 225 people, including several police officers. Iran condemned Western countries’ response to those demonstrations, accusing them of interfering in Iran’s domestic affairs. The EU, meanwhile, issued multiple statements calling on Iran to show “maximum restraint” in handling the protests, and to guarantee Iranians the right to protest peacefully.

    On Friday, France, Germany and the UK, the European signatories of the Iran nuclear deal, advanced a resolution calling on Iran to allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to access two nuclear facilities listed in a report on Tehran’s alleged nuclear violations. Iranian officials blasted the move, and accused the European powers of serving as “accessories” to a US and Israeli plot to spark a crisis in Iran-IAEA relations and kill the nuclear deal.

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