World

Iran blames West for fueling Islamic extremism by failing to protect Muslim immigrants' rights

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  delivers a speech  during   the 28.  session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015.  (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivers a speech during the 28. session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  delivers a speech  during the  28.  session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015.  (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivers a speech during the 28. session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)  (The Associated Press)

Iran's foreign minister has accused the West of fueling Islamic extremism by failing to protect the rights of Muslim immigrants.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday that "a sizeable number" of those joining the Islamic State group and others were second-generation immigrants in western democracies.

He noted that some of those "beheading innocent civilians speak European languages with native accents" — a veiled reference to "Jihadi John," who appeared in several IS propaganda videos showing the execution of the group's prisoners.

"Jihadi John" was revealed last week to be Mohammed Emwazi, a young man raised in London.

Zarif also repeated his country's previous claim that western efforts to promote human rights in the Mideast have destabilized existing regimes and benefited extremist groups.