A gallery of dictators and war criminals joined representatives from Western democracies — including the EU’s top foreign policy representative, Federica Mogherini — in Tehran on Friday, as Iran inaugurated President Hassan Rouhani for a second term in office.
At the top of the list of arrivals was Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe — whose serial human rights abuses led the European Union to place a travel ban on him in 2002. Several of Mugabe’s key aides have been named as Specially Designated Nationals by the US State Department.
A vocal supporter of Iran’s global ambitions, Mugabe’s crimes — which include torture, deliberately inflicting mass starvation, and genocidal campaigns against ethnic groups deemed insufficiently loyal to his regime — have been carefully documented by human rights groups for nearly forty years.
Alongside Mugabe was the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, Kim Yong-nam — a key lieutenant of dictator Kim Jong-Un. Among the events which Kim attended in Tehran was a dedication ceremony for North Korea’s new embassy in the Iranian capital.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour also attended the embassy ceremony, where he stressed the importance of expanding bilateral ties between Iran and North Korea and thanked his North Korean guest for his country’s support during the 1980-88 war with Iraq. North Korea and Iran continue to work together closely on ballistic missile development, regularly conducting tests using jointly developed technology.
Terrorists present at the inauguration included Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah — Iran’s Shia proxy in Lebanon and Syria.
Western dignitaries present included the former British chancellor of the exchequer, Norman Lamont, who represented the British government, and UK parliamentarian Richard Bacon, the chairman of the Britain-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group.