TEHRAN (FNA)- Representative of Assyrians and Chaldeans at the Iranian Parliament Yonatan Betkelia underlined that religious minorities enjoy different kinds of freedom in Iran.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution has considered high-level legal supports (for minorities), including having a representative in the parliament, being free to perform religious duties and ceremonies, preparing educational facilities according to the religious teachings,” Betkelia said in a meeting with Iraqi Ambassador to Iran Mohammad Majid Al-Sheikh in Tehran on Wednesday.
Betkelia pointed to the long record of the presence of Assyrians in Iraq, and thanked the Iraqi government for supporting religious minorities, including Assyrians, in that country.
“Unfortunately, the advocates of human rights are trying to intensify insecurity and instability in Iraq by fueling the ethnic-religious differences in that country,” the representative of Iranian Assyrians and Chaldeans said.
The Iraqi ambassador, for his part, underlined that Christians, including Assyrians, have an important role and status in Iraq, and said, “Assyrians have had a peaceful and brotherly life in Iraq all throughout the past years and the Iraqi government has had a positive attitude to resolve their numerous problems.”
Earlier this year, Betkelia ruled out pressure or discrimination against religious minorities in Iran, and stressed that freedom of speech in its true sense is prevalent in Iran.
“Freedom of speech is a basic principle which is heeded in our country to such an extent that religious minorities like other social strata discuss their issues and problems through this principle of democracy,” Betkelia told FNA in West Azarbaijan province in January.
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