Religious Minorities Not Different From Other Iranian Citizens, MPs

Religious Minorities Not Different From Other Iranian Citizens, MPs

TEHRAN -- In Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran the rights of the religious minorities in the country have been included and there is no different between them and other citizens in Iran, an MP said here yesterday.
Speaking to the TEHRAN TIMES representative of the Iran's Armenian minority in the Majlis Artavas Baqoumian said that religious monorities in Iran are free to perform their religious rituals and establish cultural centers and other organizations for their activities.
"I don't know on what evidence the West is making claims that the religious minoroties in Iran are deprived of their freedom.

I have never seen anybody be put under pressure in Iran because of his religion," the deputy explained. "Of course there are some issues in the Constitution such as blood money and punishment in retaliation of a crime (qesas) which have to be amended for the religious minorities," Baqoumian explained.
Touching on the recent arrest of the 13 Jewish spies in Shiraz, and claims made by the West that they have been arrested because of their religion, the deputy said that the country's officials should clarify the issue for the Iranian people and the world in the shortest time possible.

Also speaking to the TEHRAN TIMES was the representative of the Zoroastrians minority in the Majlis Parviz Ravani, who said that the religious minorities in Iran in many instances enjoy privilages by the country's officials. "There are some issues in the Constitution which should be amended and we have started taking measures in this relation," he explained.

The deputy reiterated that nobody had ever been arrested in Iran because of their religion. Recently some 70 anti-revolutionaries held a rally outside the Iranian Embassy in Bonn, Germany and claimed that Christians, Jews and Bahais are under pressure in Iran.




©Copyright 1999, Tehran Times
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