London – Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi criticized a recent report by the US State Department on Tehran’s role in human trafficking, saying that unilateral policies implemented by Washington and its allies have contributed to the spread of this phenomenon.
“The root causes of human trafficking lie in unilateral, interventionist and aggressive policies as well as the wars of attrition, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in which the military and security forces of America and some of its allies are involved,” a statement published by Iran’s foreign ministry quoted Qassemi as saying on Wednesday.
The US State Department released on Tuesday its annual report on global human trafficking, which said that the Iranian government “does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.”
During the launching ceremony, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “Thousands of women and children in different parts of the world are being trafficked, which is a form of modern slavery.”
Labeling the report as biased, Qassemi said the US “lacks the required qualifications and legitimacy” to issue such a report about other countries.
He also slammed what he described as US double standard policies, which he said were aimed at distorting Iran’s image.
“Undoubtedly, the US government is responsible in this regard, and cannot shirk its responsibility for that by playing blame games and leveling unfounded and false accusations against other countries,” Qassemi stated.
According to the report, Iran ranks third in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2017.
The report criticized Iran’s exploitation of the trafficking victims, including children, by sending them to fight in Syria and Iraq.