KARACHI: Iran’s Consul General in Karachi Hassan Nourian said on Friday that Mahsa Amini had a medical history and her death was being used by the United States to bring about regime change in Tehran and to recognise Israel.

He said this while speaking at a press briefing held at the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran here.

After spending a decent time on highlighting the strong Pak-Iran ties, referencing visits of Pakistani leaders to Iran in recent times and the gas pipeline between the two countries, Mr Nourian talked in detail about the situation in Iran arising out of the custodial death of Mahsa Amini on Sept 16.

He said her killing was lamented by all, including the supreme leader of Iran. The president of the country also phoned the family members of the girl and promised that her death would be investigated. The forensic medical committee made to look into the matter comprised doctors and other professionals. It is of the view that Ms Amini was suffering from a disease from childhood. “The whole thing was used by Iran’s detractors.”

The consul general said there’s an institute in the US according to whose research social media is used to paint Iran in a bad light. TheWashington Post has talked about that study. “The Pentagon is doing it.”

He said Ms Amini belonged to the Kurd tribe, had sexism in her — he explained later that the US wants to depict Iran as a country against human and women’s rights — and belonged to the Sunni sect.

“There exist economic difficulties in our country. Our country has many enemies and for the last 40 years we have been facing different sanctions. For eight years a war was imposed on us. Due to sanctions medicines don’t reach those who fall sick. They’re [West] instilling fear in others and spreading Islamophobia. They want a regime change in Iran. If that can’t be done, they want Iran’s behaviour to be made ‘normal’. In order to do the latter, they want us to recognise Israel as a country,” he said.

“The good thing is that despite all these conspiracies, Iran is moving forward. Last year, for Iran, income earned through oil was 11 times more than the previous year. The West has a grudge against Iran. What have they been able to achieve in Afghanistan despite being there for more than 20 years? They can’t accept Iran’s progress. Therefore, they’re targeting Iran for the death of an Iranian citizen. We, as per our culture and according to the teachings of Islam, respect women.”

He jokingly underlined, “Also, like you Pakistanis, we are afraid of women.”

The consul general said there’s 60 per cent female academic qualification in Iran as compared to 57pc in the US. In Iran, when a child is born, the mother gets six-month leave, whereas in the US, women aren’t given a single off day. In Iran, for every 100,000 women, the suicide rate is 3.6pc whereas in the US it’s 6pc.

In Iran, there are 3.1pc women in prison and in the US the percentage is 6.9. Twenty-five per cent of government work in Iran is for women. There are more than 1,000 judges, 900 film-makers and 98pc of gynaecological surgeons are women in Iran.

Mr Nourian added the US is trying to create a network among the youth with western mindsets to create leaders out of them.

Published in Dawn, October 22th, 2022

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