US Freedom Report Rejected as Cliché

US Freedom Report Rejected as Cliché
US Freedom Report Rejected as Cliché

The recent report by the US State Department on 'Religious Freedom' in Iran is unacceptable and has been prepared to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Thursday.

She was responding to Secretary of State John Kerry's report on the situation of religious freedom in the Islamic Republic of Iran presented to the US Congress on October 14, IRNA reported.

According to Afkham, the "cliche" report is rhetoric of baseless accusations and barefaced lies rejected unequivocally by Tehran on more occasions than one.

"The US report comes at a time when the international community has expressed concern over the spiraling "Islamophobia" in the US," she asserted, adding that discrimination against Muslims has become a norm in US government institutions, especially among the police, while Washington has perpetually failed to take effective measures to stop the dangerous trend.

According to the media, the report alleges that the "government of Iran executed, detained, harassed, and discriminated against members of religious minority groups as well as Muslims professing beliefs at variance with state-approved doctrine on charges of moharebeh (enmity against God) and anti-Islamic propaganda.

 In addition, the report claims at the end of 2014, several hundred Baha’is, Christians, Sufi and Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, and Shia Muslims professing unapproved doctrine were in detention because of activities related to the peaceful practice of their religious beliefs, many arrested during raids on religious gatherings.

Rejecting the allegations, Afkham stressed, "Kerry's report has misjudged the religious freedom situation in Iran and has been prepared with political intent in line with Washington’s policies to interfere in the internal affairs of Iran. It is viewed as an attempt to create religious and sectarian division, which explains why it is "legally incredible".

Highlighting the fact that Iran’s Constitution recognizes the rights of religious minorities such as Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, Afkham said, "Not only are the followers of such religions free to practice their rituals, but also those who have not been recognized by the Constitution can enjoy citizenship rights like other Iranians."