TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday lashed out at the US State Department for its new report on religious freedoms in the Islamic Republic, saying the report is politically-motivated.
In a statement on Thursday, the spokesman of the ministry, Bahram 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, the ministry website reported.
“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.