Speaking at the the 17th World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations Convention in the capital, Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed that “Iran has never invaded other countries over the past centuries and the Iranian people have never been known for racism.”
In an apparent reference to the US President Donald Trump’s quest to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, Rouhani said, “Today is not the time of wall-raising between nations. Have they forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed years ago?”
“Today’s world is not a world where one can create distances between the nations and peoples of different territories. Today is a day of neighbourhood. We have become neighbours in cultural, scientific, and civilisational terms, and also, the world of communications and communications technology have shrunk distances. No one can fight globalisation today,” the President said.
In his speech Rouhani also said, “In our country, different religions, ethnicities, and cultures have had peaceful coexistence,” saying Iran had not invaded other countries over the past centuries.
Figures from human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch seem to contradict Rouhani’s claim. Many ethnically Kurdish and Balochi political prisoners were executed as a result of their political activities in 2016.