Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi made the remarks on Thursday after a meddlesome statement by a European Union spokesperson, which the Iranian official described as an instance of interference in Iran’s internal affairs.
“What should be noted concerning Iran in the first place is Europe’s accountability for its lack of commitment and refusal to uphold its nuclear obligations [towards the country], as well as its joining the United States in acts of bullying through the sanctions and economic terrorism, which Washington has employed against the Iranian people,” he said.
However, instead of minding its obligations vis-à-vis Tehran, Europe resorts to intrusive remarks and “crying crocodile tears in defense of hooligans and those destroying public and private property and facilities in Iran.”
The US returned the sanctions against Iran after illegally and unilaterally leaving a multi-party nuclear agreement with Tehran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last year. The JCPOA’s European deal partners then bowed under Washington’s pressure by toeing its sanction line and refusing to uphold Tehran’s business interests as they are contractually obliged.
Maja Kocijancic, the European Union’s spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, accused the Islamic Republic in an statement earlier on Thursday of addressing “socio-economic challenges” through “the use of violence…and not through inclusive dialogue.”
The Iranian government raised gasoline prices last week in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per day, 40 million liters per day above the maximum domestic requirement.
The move prompted some peaceful protests, but riotous elements, abusing the situation, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property, setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire on people and security forces.
There have been reports of fatalities among both security forces and civilians in different locations, with an official tally not available yet.
On Wednesday, Iranians buried a serviceman and a civilian killed at the hands of the rioters.
On Thursday, Iranians staged fresh rallies against acts of violence and vandalism committed during recent protests against the rise in gasoline prices in the country, condemning the U.S. and Israel for fueling the unrest. Demonstrators from all walks of life also chanted slogans in support of the Islamic establishment.
According to Fars News Agency, the violence saw rioters setting fire to as many as 80 department stores across the country, incurring a damage of 170 billion tomans (more than $40 million).
The damage has wrecked between 50 to 100 percent of the facilities’ structures, with the anarchists either looting the stores before setting them ablaze or setting fire to entire facilities and their supplies.
Mousavi also advised European countries to rather address their own predicaments and remedy extensive dissatisfaction among their own people, which are reflected in various forms across the continent every week, and have been followed by widespread fatalities and sweeping arrests.