Iran says US religious freedom claims politically-charged

August 13, 2016 7:07 pm

A frontal view of the building of ’s Foreign Ministry in Tehran

Iran has dismissed as unreal, exaggerated and unconstructive a recent US report on religious freedom in the Islamic Republic, saying its contents are driven by political prejudice.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi on Saturday said the annual report released by the US State Department on August 10 contains hackneyed and unsubstantiated claims which have been devised and published based on hostility and political motivations.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes the rights of religious minorities based on its Constitution. All Iranian citizens are equal in benefiting from their basic rights within legal frameworks,” Qasemi added.
He pointed to the concerns expressed in recent UN reports on the widespread violation of the rights of religious minorities, particularly Muslims, in the US, and said, “Instead of preaching to other countries, the US administration must attend to the flagrant cases of the violation of the rights of its own Muslims.”
“It is imperative that the US administration end its violation of rights of religious minorities, particularly Muslims, and commit more seriously to its human rights obligations,” the Iranian spokesperson said.
He added that Washington must also take solemn measures to prevent the spread of Islamophobia.
Qasemi emphasized that Iran has always sought to improve its human rights record, particularly the rights of religious minorities, based on its religion, law and culture.
He said Iran regards as against the principle of human rights and condemns any political exploitation of the issue of human rights in independent countries.
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