Mar 15, 2019 15:07 UTC
  • Trump factor stands out in New Zealand mosque massacre: Qassemi

Iran has strongly condemned “inhumane” attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, urging Wellington to immediately find and punish the perpetrators without any consideration.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Friday denounced the deadly attacks by an alleged white supremacist - reportedly an admirer of US President Donald Trump - as inhumane and totally brutal.

“Any terrorist attack must be condemned by all states no matter where in the world, by whom, and with what motivation and pretext it is carried out,” Qassemi said.

He also urged governments to prevent racist and Islamophobic movements and ideologies from threatening the security and tranquility of the citizens of states across the world.

His reaction came as political and Islamic leaders expressed their disgust at the massacre and cited rising "Islamophobia" as responsible.

At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers in New Zealand's worst ever mass shooting, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism.

The Australian gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants, calling them "invaders".

In a Friday tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cited Trump’s Islamophobic remarks, and lashed out at the “Western hypocrisy of defending demonization of Muslims as ‘freedom of expression’.”

“Impunity in Western 'democracies' to promote bigotry leads to this: Israeli thugs enter mosque in Palestine to insult Muslims; terrorists in NZ livestream their murder of 49 Muslims. Western hypocrisy of defending demonization of Muslims as 'freedom of expression' MUST end,” he said.

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