Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has dismissed as untrue and politically-motivated the latest report by the US State Department about religious freedoms in Iran.
In a statement on Thursday, Qassemi said the Islamic Republic of Iran regards the report as unrealistic, unfounded and biased, and believes it has been drawn up to make certain political gains.
“In this report, once again a distorted and politically-tainted picture is painted of the situation of religious freedoms in the Islamic Republic of Iran coupled with baseless accusations which are far from reality and definitely unacceptable,” he said.
He then touched upon the interpretations that the report offers of religions and religious beliefs.
“Putting forward imaginary, fabricated and groundless interpretations of religions and religious beliefs will finally lead to the further deterioration of interfaith problems, conflicts and crises, and will have no constructive and positive outcome,” he noted.
“In order to settle religious differences and ensure proximity among religions, it is necessary to seriously avoid politicising the issue and take steps on this path with reliance on dialogue and respect for others’ opinions, and based on lofty human values and respect for the followers of all divine faiths,” Qassemi underlined.
“It seems that the US government has forgotten this key objective and only seeks to make political capital out of the religious diversity in some world countries, and it is believed that this country does not have a precise and realistic assessment of the domestic situation of countries, especially their demographic and religious condition,” he noted.
“History bears witness to the fact that the great people of Iran, who enjoy a rich and age-old civilisation and culture, have lived side by side in a completely peaceful and fraternal atmosphere for thousands of years.”
“Following the victory of the glorious Islamic Revolution [of Iran], too, followers of all faiths have practiced their religious rituals in different religious centres across Iran in keeping with the principles of the Constitution and in accordance with the law, which supports these freedoms,” he said.
In its “International Religious Freedom Report for 2017,” the US State Department accuses the Iranian government of persecuting religious minorities.
“Residents of provinces with large Sunni populations, including Kurdistan, Khuzestan, and Sistan and Baluchistan, reported continued repression by judicial authorities and members of the security services, including extrajudicial killings,
arbitrary arrest, and torture in detention, as well as discrimination, including suppression of religious rights, lack of basic government services, and inadequate funding for infrastructure projects,” reads part of the report, without giving any documented evidence to substantiate the baseless claims.
The report does not stop there, and even cites other baseless reports about the human rights situation in Iran.
“The UN special rapporteur highlighted in her March and August reports the large number of executions of mainly Sunni Kurdish prisoners on ‘moharebeh’ charges, as well as the ‘indiscriminate and blind use of lethal force’ against Kurdish couriers,” adds the report.
This comes as the US, itself, is one of the major violators of human rights. Numerous cases of racial profiling and discrimination against the people of colour, especially the black community, have been reported in the US.
Many unarmed black people have been shot dead by US police for no good reason. The travel ban against Muslims announced by US President some time ago was another clear example of rights violation by the United States.