Iran condemns Macron remarks after French president meets dissidents

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Iran on Sunday criticised a recent meeting between the French president and opponents of the Islamic republic, describing Emmanuel Macron's comments after the encounter as "regrettable and shameful".

President Macron met four prominent Iranian dissidents on Friday.

The meeting with the four women took place as protests continue in Iran following the death in September of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old died in custody after she was arrested by the morality police for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women.

At least 326 people have lost their lives in the violent repression of ensuing protests.

Friday's meeting between Macron and the dissidents was "a flagrant violation of France's international responsibilities in the fight against terrorism and violence", Tehran's foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.

"We consider that France favours these sinister phenomena," he added.

Presidential respect and admiration

US-based activist Masih Alinejad, who for years has led a campaign encouraging Iranian women to remove their obligatory headscarves, and Ladan Boroumand, co-founder of Washington-based rights group Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, were among those at the meeting with President Macron.

Alluding to Alinejad, the Tehran statement said it was "surprising that the president of a country that stands for freedom would degrade himself by meeting" her, alleging that she had "tried to spread hate and carry out violent and terrorist acts in Iran and against Iran's foreign diplomatic missions.

"Macron's declarations of support for this so-called revolution led by these people" were "regrettable and shameful", the statement continued.

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