Iran rejects U.S. report on religious intolerance Iran rejects U.S. report on religious intolerance
08:33 a.m. Sep 12, 1999 Eastern

TEHRAN, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Iran has dismissed as biased a U.S. human rights report which criticised Iran for religious intolerance, a newspaper said on Sunday.

``The U.S. State Department has circulated a biased and unjust view on the status of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is an indication of its ignorance of human rights in this country,'' the daily Iran News quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi as saying.

The United States on Thursday released its first annual report on religious freedom worldwide which criticised a number of countries. It accused Iran of trying to ``eradicate'' the Baha'i faith.

``Iran adheres to the religious beliefs and Islamic teachings...which not only fully supports human rights of Iranian Moslems but also thoroughly observes the rights of religious minorities,'' Asefi was quoted as saying.

Western governments and human rights groups have voiced concern over the fate of 13 Jews arrested in Iran this year. The 13 have been accused of passing military information to Israel.




©Copyright 1999, Reuters
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