Polish Foreign Minister Tweets Iran for Censorship of Remarks

Photograph by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, speaks to his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski during a press conference in Tehran, on March 1, 2014.

When he found out that his criticism of Iranian censorship was censored, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski took to Twitter and YouTube to make sure his message was not lost.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Tehran with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on March 1, Sikorski criticized Iran’s censorship of the media and the country’s poor human rights record.

Except that Sikorski’s comments were censored and never shown inside Iran.

“I mentioned to the minister that yesterday from Isfahan I tried to log onto a website of a major Polish newspaper and, unfortunately, I could not do it,” Sikorski said at the press conference, standing alongside Zarif. “I was told that the website was blocked by censorship. For us, coming from a country that fought for freedom of speech, this came as a shock.”

Sikorski went on to criticize Iran for its high number of executions. The United Nations human rights office says that as many as 95 people may have been executed this year.

Sikorski, the first Polish foreign minister to visit Iran in 10 years, cut his visit short and returned to Warsaw because of the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

Iranian media did not report the criticism. The semi-official Iranian Students News Agency said Sikorski pledged “to persuade the international community about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear work.”

Similarly, the reformist newspaper Etemaad focused on how the Polish delegation was exploring business opportunities.

Fighting back, the Polish Foreign Ministry put out a video of Sikorski’s comments. Yesterday, Sikorski tweeted:

And he provided a YouTube link.

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