Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose regime regularly features near the top of human right advocates’ list of the world’s worst violators, spent a busy weekend condemning the United States over the tensions in Ferguson, Missouri.
In a Facebook entry and at least a dozen Twitter messages, Khamenei shared his views on the situation, accusing the U.S. of claiming to support human rights even as “people are deprived of a sense of security only because they have dark skins.”
“This is not about the past. It is not about 50 or 100 years ago that they would claim they have already had reforms. It is about today and the major cities of the United States,” he declared.
“Look, in a country that claims to support freedom and human rights, the problem of racial discrimination has not been solved yet. Still in that society, people are deprived of a sense of security only because they have dark skins! If necessary, the police may beat them to death over the crime of having dark skins!”
Khamenei also posted images interspersing photos from the civil rights struggle era with news footage from Ferguson, where the Aug. 9 shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer sparked a week of sometimes violent protests.
The ayatollah used the hashtag #Ferguson on many of the Twitter posts, with messages charging that African-Americans are “under pressure, oppressed and subjected to discrimination,” and that the U.S. government is the world’s “biggest violator” of human rights, committing both international crimes and crimes against its people.
He also alluded to other episodes in recent U.S. history, including the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and the war in Afghanistan, during which, Khamenei charged, the U.S. had dropped bombs on Afghans, created illegal prisons and “massacred prisoners without trials.”
Khamenei also took the opportunity to condemn America for supporting Israel.
“The same people claim that they support human rights!” he said in his Ferguson-themed Facebook post. “They turn a blind eye to the horrible crimes of the usurper Zionist regime.”
“If a desperate and oppressed Palestinian shouts out and makes an aggressive move, their propaganda and political machines start to operate but all the crimes against the nations of Palestine and Lebanon are ignored by them! Today the flag of human rights is being carried by such people! Is this not a world of deception? Is this not a world of lies? Is this not a world of hypocrisy?”