Tehran, February 29, The Iran Project – Iran’s religious minorities who have always played an important role in various arenas, massively attended Iran’s parliamentary elections.
Regardless of their religion, religious minorities recognized in Iran’s constitution, namely Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians (Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Armenian), turned out en masse in the fifth parliamentary elections on Friday to choose their own representatives for the new Iranian Parliament.
Apart from having the freedom of practicing their religious rituals, and freedom of speech and thought, religious minorities who make up two percent of Iran’s population have also been allowed to have a say in the legislative chamber by choosing their own representatives.
On the eve of Iran’s twin elections, a senior Armenian official told reporters that religious minorities in Iran enjoy all kinds of civil rights, the peak of which is the right to vote, adding those accused Iran of violating the rights of religious minorities just try to tarnish the country’s image in international communities.
In 1947, Iran formally joined the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and has always respected the rights of religious minorities, so they, along with other Iranian people, have actively participated in different areas.
Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians who are the only recognized religious minorities according to article 13 of Iran’s constitution, can have direct representatives in the parliament. The Zoroastrians and Jews can each elect one representative; also, Chaldeans and Assyrians can jointly elect one representative, and the Armenian Christians in the north and those in the south of the country can each elect one representative as well. So of 290 seats in Iran’s parliament, five are reserved for religious minorities.
It should be mentioned that all followers of different religions in Iran are parts of a single body and enjoy the same rights and facilities as other Iranians, Therefore they should actively participate in the elections that determine the fate of the country.
Iran’s two crucial elections, the 10th parliamentary elections and the 5th Assembly of Experts elections, held simultaneously on Friday and the high turnout of 55 million eligible voters, including religious minorities, were surprising.