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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. reiterates its concerns over human rights situation in Iran

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, December 8 (RIA Novosti) - Iranians should know that the United States supports their peaceful demonstrations and is still concerned with the human rights situation in their country, the U.S. Department of State said.

Supporters of the defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi staged protests in the Iranian capital on Monday during celebrations of national Student Day. Clashes between police and protesters were later reported by Iranian and western media.

"Iranians have to know that these kinds of brutal attempts to suppress people who are trying to exercise their democratic rights - that we [the U.S.] will continue to bear witness to it publicly," Ian Kelly, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State, told a daily press briefing.

"It's not just us... most of the international community has expressed concerns over the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and the government's failure to uphold its obligations under international human rights law," Kelly added.

BBC reported earlier that the Iranian authorities banned media coverage of Student Day by foreign journalists. Accreditation of all foreign media was suspended from December 7 to December 9. Journalists are also banned from leaving their bureaus during that period.

Student Day, celebrated this year on December 7, marks the day three Tehran University students were killed during protests against then U.S. vice-president Richard Nixon's visit to Iran in 1953.

Ahmadinejad's re-election triggered mass protests by Mousavi's supporters in June. At least 30 people were reported to have been killed and about 1,000 arrested in post-election violence in the capital Tehran and some other cities, in Iran's most severe unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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