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Israeli Foreign Ministry: EU sending representative to Raisi’s swearing-in ‘puzzling’

Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat decries the European Union’s “poor judgment” in legitimizing the presidency of the “Butcher of Tehran.”

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Photo by Mohammad Hossein Taaghi via Wikimedia Commons.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Photo by Mohammad Hossein Taaghi via Wikimedia Commons.

Israel is less than enthusiastic about the European Union’s decision to send a high-level representative to attend the swearing-in of Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday

On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Hayat tweeted: “The decision of the European Union to send a senior representative to the swearing-in ceremony of the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ is puzzling and shows poor judgment.”

Hayat said that E.U. Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora would be attending the ceremony just a “few days after Iran killed two civilians,” in “an act of state terrorism against civilian shipping,” referring to a drone attack last week on an Israeli-managed ship off the coast of Oman, in which one British and one Romanian citizen were killed.

Iran has denied responsibility for the attack, although the United States and the United Kingdom both pin the blame on Tehran.

According to Hayat, Raisi “has the blood of thousands of Iranian citizens on his hands,” and the presence of an E.U. representative will lend legitimacy to his presidency.

Earlier on Monday, a spokesman for the Iranian parliament reported that 115 senior officials from 73 countries would be attending the swearing-in ceremony.

“Ten presidents, 20 parliament speakers, 11 foreign ministers, 10 other ministers, as well as representatives of presidents, vice presidents and parliamentary delegations will all come,” said the spokesman, adding that another 11 leaders of international and regional organizations, including the United Nations, OPEC and the European Union would also be in attendance.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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