LONDON – British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson expressed on Tuesday his regret at the deaths during Iran’s recent nationwide protests denouncing the government’s economic policy and food price increases and called Iranian authorities to enter a debate on this legitimate socio-economic issue.
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Affairs cabinet minister mentioned the Iranian crisis on his Facebook account stating that the UK was following events in Iran closely.
“We regret the loss of life that has occurred in the protests in Iran, and call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for international obligations on human rights to be observed,” Johnson said.
Widespread demonstrations in Iran protesting against the cost of living have entered their fifth day with a toll of 11 deaths, including one policeman.
Johnson said the UK looked to the Iranian authorities to permit meaningful debate on these matters.
The British minister also pointed out that 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and that “people should be able to have freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully within the law.”
Some 300 people have been arrested during the disturbances in Iran despite calls by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani calling for calm, while social media networks have seen their activity restricted.