Rafsanjani & Archbishop Sebuh Sarkisian

Rafsanjani: Iran respecting religious minorities

Tehran, Dec 31, IRNA — Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani underlined that Iran has always respected the religious minorities, specially Christians.

‘In the years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran has not had any problem with religious minorities, specially the Iranian Christians,’ Rafsanjani said in a meeting with Archbishop of Tehran’s Armenians in Tehran on Thursday.

He underlined that the Christian martyrs are the symbols of the Christians’ interest in Iran.

Rafsanjani voiced his satisfaction in the Iran’s Armenians, and said, ‘Being an Iranian is our commonality with the Christians and we hope our relations to be strengthened.’

In late November, Representative of the Iranian Assyrians at the Parliament Yonatan Betkolia underlined that the religious minorities in Iran enjoy complete freedom.

‘These freedoms are to such an extent that it is not comparable with any of the regional countries; they include freedom in all cultural, educational, social and religious aspects of the religious minorities residing in Iran,’ Betkolia told reporters.

He said the Assyrian community has been living peacefully in Iran for over 3,000 years which shows the peaceful nature of the Iranians.

In February, Iranian President’s Special Adviser for Religious and Ethnic Minorities’ Affairs Ali Younesi stressed the Islamic Republic’s support for the freedom of religious and ethnic minorities.

The Iranian government attaches great importance to ethnic minorities and tribal citizens, Younesi said, addressing a gathering in the Central province of Isfahan.

Iran’s Constitution has officially recognized Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism as divine religions alongside Islam and their followers are having a peaceful life and friendly relationship with each other.