Jeremy Corbyn has told the Andrew Marr he spends “too much time reading the Daily Mail”.
The Labour leader was quizzed on his views on the Iranian regime, and his previous visits to the country, in an interview on the BBC’s Sunday programme.
In response to Marr’s suggestion Corbyn had been “reluctant” to condemn the country’s government, he said: “If I may say so, you’re spending too much time reading the Daily Mail, do you know that?”
Iran has been rocked by protests against the ruling regime, which supports the execution of gay men and used water cannons and tear gas to quell dissent on the streets.
Corbyn - who was criticised for remaining silent at the height of the protests late last year - claimed that on previous delegations to the country, he spent “the whole of that time...discussing two issues - the nuclear deal and human rights”.
He said: “I raised human rights at every available opportunity.
“The issue of human rights abuse in Iran, of executions...is totally wrong. There has to be human rights demands made on the Iranian government - which I make.”
On taking money for his appearances on Iranian Press TV, the Labour leader said it was “a very long time ago”.
He added: “On all of those occasions I made my voice very clear about human rights abuses.”
Asked what his message to the Iranian government would be, Corbyn said: “I want you to be part of the international community, I want you to respect human rights, I want you to be part of and respect the Human Rights Council of the UN.
“And we as a Labour government will not walk away from the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council.
“Human rights will be at the very core of our foreign policy.”