Iran rejects allegations of meddling in U.S. election

October 25, 2020 - 13:12

TEHRAN – Guardian Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei has ruled out the allegations of interference in U.S. presidential election, saying the Islamic Republic does not meddle in the internal affairs of other countries.

“Iran has announced numerously that it does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and more importantly, it does not see any need to interfere,” Kadkhodaei said via Twitter on Saturday.

“The U.S. election is also a matter in which Iran is not interested nor it sees any reason to interfere,” he said, adding, “Of course, Trump should also know that the era of meddling in other countries’ internal affairs is over.”

Washington has sanctioned five Iranian groups that it claims attempted to interfere in the upcoming presidential election between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

In a statement on Thursday, U.S. Treasury announced it designated Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the IRGC’s Quds Force, and the Bayan Rasaneh Gostar Institute “for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference” in the upcoming election.

It also designated the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union and International Union of Virtual Media “for being owned or controlled by” the IRGC’s Quds Force, the department said.

“The Iranian regime uses false narratives and other misleading content to attempt to influence U.S. elections,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

“This administration is committed to ensuring the integrity of the U.S. election system and will continue to counter efforts from any foreign actor that threatens our electoral processes.”

Iran summons Swiss envoy over U.S. ‘baseless’ claims of election interference 
Meanwhile, Iran summoned the Swiss envoy on Thursday to protest against what it called “baseless” U.S. claims.

“Iran’s strong rejection of American officials’ repetitive, baseless and false claims was conveyed to the Swiss ambassador,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told state television. “As we have said before, it makes no difference for Iran who wins the U.S. election.”

Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran as Washington and Tehran have no diplomatic ties. Tensions have risen between the two states since 2018, when Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and imposed sanctions on Iran.

Separately on Thursday, U.S. Treasury also imposed sanctions against Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi for being a “close advisor” to Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the world-renown commander in the fight against terrorism who was killed in a Trump-ordered strike in Iraq on January 3.

Iran blacklists U.S. ambassador to Iraq for his role in terrorist acts

In response, Iran announced that it has blacklisted U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller and two other diplomats for their role in acts of terror, violating the fundamental principles of human rights and imposing cruel and illegal sanctions against Iran.

In a statement on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it had imposed sanctions on Tueller, Steve Fagin, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, and Consul General in Erbil Rob Waller based on adequate evidence and in line with a bill overwhelmingly approved by Iranian lawmakers in 2017 to confront “America’s terrorist and adventurous actions” in the region.

Alireza Miryousefi, the spokesman for Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations, has also said that Iran does not interfere in other countries’ elections.

Miryousefi told Newsweek on Friday that “we do not comment on election issues and are not interested in entering the debate.”

His made the remarks when asked to respond to Biden, who said during Thursday’s final presidential debate that he has “made it clear that any country, no matter who it is, that interferes in American elections will pay a price.”

The Democratic presidential candidate said it was “overwhelmingly clear” during this election “that Russia has been involved, China's been involved to some degree, and now we learn that Iran is involved.”

“They will pay a price if ‘m elected. They’re interfering with American sovereignty. That’s what’s going on right now,” he warned.

Miryousefi brushed off the warning, declaring Tehran’s neutrality in the affair.