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‘It’s my lifelong honor’: Senior Iranian cleric reacts to being targeted by EU sanctions

Tehran’s interim Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami has lashed out at the European Union for imposing sanctions on him and a number of Iranian officials over alleged human rights abuses, saying the hostile move was a source of honor for him.

In a sermon to worshippers at the weekly Friday Prayers, Ayatollah Khatami said the EU had a “black” human rights record.

“During the recent decade, at least, the European Union has acted as an American colony and has done whatever the United States has asked.”

He said only the EU supports the child- and woman-killing regime of Israel and therefore the bloc “is at the top of the list of human rights violators.”

Ayatollah Khatami said it is his “lifelong honor” that the EU has imposed sanctions on him, vowing to continue to disclose the savage acts of the bloc.

The European Union’s foreign ministers on Monday agreed to impose new sanctions on a number of Iranian individuals and entities over alleged crackdown on recent protests and drone deliveries to Russia for use in the Ukraine war.

EU agrees new Iran sanctions over alleged rights violation, Russia drone delivery

According to a statement issued by the EU foreign ministers, 20 individuals along with one entity – the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) – have been sanctioned over alleged human rights abuses, while four more people and as many entities have been blacklisted over the issue of drones.

Ayatollah Khatami was included on the list over claims of inciting violence against protesters.

US wants women as slaves: Ayatollah Khatami

The senior cleric also pointed to a “historic” UN vote to remove Iran from its Commission on the Status of Women in response to what it claims to be Iran’s “systemic repression” of women and girls. He said the resolution was passed following US efforts.

“Real freedom exists in the Islamic system,” he said, “It is only in the Islamic system that the life of women is an honorable Islamic life.”

He also said the US wants women as slaves who have lost their identity and culture.

“They chant the slogan of ‘woman, life, freedom,’ which is deceptive and it is clear that they are after libertinism,” he said, referring to the famous slogan chanted at months-long riots across the country.

The 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted the US-drafted resolution to “remove with immediate effect the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term.”

Twenty-nine members of the ECOSOC voted in favor of Iran’s expulsion from the United Nations women’s body, eight countries voted against and 16 abstained.

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