The United States and Britain said Tuesday they will hold Iran to account for violating the rights of its people, while reiterating condemnation of Iran’s execution of a British Iranian national.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that the execution last week of Ali Reza Akbari fits a pattern of abuse by the Iranian government that includes “detentions, torture, forced confessions, unjust executions.”
“We were appalled by the execution of Mr. Akbari, just as we’ve been appalled by everything we’ve been seeing on the streets of Iran over the last months since these protests began — mass arrests, sham trials, the executions, the use of sexual violence as a tool for protest suppression,” Blinken said.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who met with Blinken in Washington on Tuesday, said both Britain and the United States “stand with the brave and dignified people of Iran as they demand their rights to live free of terror and oppression.”
Cleverly said Britain has imposed sanctions on those involved in Akbari’s execution, including Iran’s prosecutor general, and on members of Iran’s morality police and judiciary involved in a crackdown against protesters.
He said the people of Iran are telling the government they are not happy with the current system in the country and that it is up to the government to make changes.
“The simple message I would put across is that they should change — not for our benefit, not because of what we say or do, but because their own people are demanding that they do so,” Cleverly said.