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Iran Calls Obama 'Two-Faced' On Saudi Rights

Tehran slams Obama's 'hypocrisy' for not raising Saudi human rights breaches during visit last week, accuses US and Israel of 'terror.'
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/31/2014, 8:22 AM

Obama and Saudi King Abdullah (file)
Obama and Saudi King Abdullah (file)
Reuters

Iran has accused US President Barack Obama of being "two-faced," after he failed to raise the issue of human rights breaches with Saudi Arabia during his visit there last Friday. Obama promised Saudi King Abdullah that he would not accept a "bad deal" on Iran's nuclear program in the visit.

Iranian General and political commentator Yadallah Jawani accused America and the West of being hypocritical on human rights. As an example, he brought the case of Saudi Arabia, saying it has been ruled for many years by a royal family that breaches the rights of its citizens, and in particular its women.

Jawani pointed the finger at Obama for not mentioning the human rights abuses during his visit, accusing him of hypocritical lip-service for human rights while only advancing his own interests, presumably interests in Saudi oil.

Saudi Arabia has come in for criticism after Saudi princesses revealed in an interview last Friday, the day Obama spoke to King Abdullah, that they were being held as "hostages" and being starved in a royal compound, after going public with their story of abuse last month.

A study last November found Saudi Arabia has the third worst women's rights in the Arab world. In February several education departments banned female employees and visitors not wearing a face veil from entering girls’ schools. Saudi women are not issued driving licenses.

Iran for its part has a far from stellar human rights record. In the first 21 days of 2014, two Iranians were executed each day, on average; Iran was behind a reported 369 death sentences in 2013, and was only outpaced in killing its citizens by China.

Opposition to Iranian nuke is "terror"

Jawani further claimed America and Israel had collaborated in the recent kidnapping of two Iranian soldiers near the border with Pakistan. In making the accusations, Jawani said the US threats that "all options are on the table" regarding Iran's nuclear program constituted "terror," and caused instability in the region.

In early March, Iranian officials called Obama's threats of preventing the Islamic regime's nuclear aspirations from materializing "the joke of the year."

In terms of "terror" and causing instability, Iran's accusations may sound hypocritical to many, given that Iranian lawmaker and Majilis (council) member Mohammed Nabavian said in January that "having a nuclear bomb is necessary to put down Israel."

Obama's Saudi visit has received other criticism as well. A report released before the visit revealed the US has kept secret an extensive study of Saudi textbooks, traditionally rife with Islamic extremism, since the end of 2012.