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Iran Press TV

Iran: US 'religious freedom' report flawed, founded on misinformation

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 30 April 2020 4:25 PM

The Iranian Foreign Ministry condemns as fundamentally flawed an annual report by a US panel that has blacklisted Iran as, what it calls, a "religious freedom" offender alongside countries like India, where scores of Muslims have been massacred by Hindu radicals so far.

The report has been drawn up based on "misinformation," the ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday about the report, which was released two days earlier by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a body set up by Congress.

"The contents of this report point to lack of understanding and misapprehension concerning Iran's situation in the area of the rights assigned to religious minorities," Mousavi added, calling the report an instance of "blatant interference" in other countries' internal affairs.

The spokesman said the report was an iteration of "baseless and unsubstantiated accusations," noting that its nature well reflected the fact that it has been prepared based on invalid and anti-Iran information and sources.

The report has taken aim at Iran for violating religious freedoms and rights of religious minorities.

This is while Iran's Constitution officially recognizes the minority religions of Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, which have all seats in the Iranian Parliament or Majlis. Five of the parliament seats are reserved for these three religions.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mousavi said the US report has especially misreported the situation of the Jewish people in Iran, citing allegations that do not hold true for any of the Islamic Republic's official religions.

The panel's blacklist also features such countries as Myanmar, which has been internationally called out for its bloodshed and brutal persecution of its Rohingya Muslim minority, and Saudi Arabia that practices the extremist ideology of Wahhabism and does not tolerate religious or political dissent.

Mousavi said Washington resorts to circulating "unfounded" reports against Iran at a time that the United States hosts millions of impoverished and homeless people, who are denied their basis rights and healthcare.

The new coronavirus outbreak has compounded the situation, taking the lives of tens of thousands of Americans, he said.

The Islamic Republic has, however, invariably treated its religious minorities' rights with respect, and assigned them every entitlement, especially inclusion in political processes and complete freedom in their religious practices, the official concluded.

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