TEHRAN — The advisor to the Iranian president on ethnic and religious minorities has said it is necessary to pay attention to the rights of minorities in Iran, IRNA reported on Saturday.“All great heavenly messengers have come to invite human beings to respect morality and submission to the command of God,” Mamosta Abdolsalam Karimi said in a meeting with the representatives of religious minorities in the Parliament.
“All of us, the followers of monotheistic religions must submit to God’s command. As all the prophets of the divine religions were united in upholding the principles and observance of morality, it is advisable for us, the followers of the religions, to live and interact peacefully and to treat each other on the basis of justice and good morals,” Karimi stated.
Karimi further pointed to the declining birth rate in the country, saying decrease in the population in recent years entails serious attention.
The presidential advisor went on to say that the approach of the Islamic Revolution is justice-oriented and universal, so all must move on the basis of rationality and social justice, not ethnic and sectarian feelings and prejudices.
Karimi pointed out that religious minorities were alongside their fellow Shia brothers in the uprisings that led to the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and fighting against the invading Saddam Army during the Sacred Defense in the 1980s.
The adviser noted, “As all Iranian tribes and followers of monotheistic religions during the Revolution and the Holy Defense defended the borders of this Islamic homeland, we also fully believe that within the framework of the constitution, all dear Iranians of any ethnicity, and religion should play a role in the administration of the country.”
Stating that the constitution is the national covenant of all Iranians, Karimi added that the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the covenant of all those who love this proud homeland and the new Islamic civilization.
“Therefore, the participation of all Iranians must be observed according to the constitution; and on the other hand, all ethnicities, religions and sects must respect the constitution of the country.”
Mamousta Karimi added, “The demands of all Iranians in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and the repeated statements of the late Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader must be pursued, and we are obliged to pursue legal demands.”
The advisor also stressed that the problems and concerns of the followers of monotheistic religions would be studied in consultation with the MPs, and through cooperation with the educated classes a suitable strategy will be adopted to solve them.
During the meeting, Robert Beglarian, the MP representing the Armenian community in Isfahan and southern Iran in the parliament, said, “I was very happy when I found out that the president had chosen an educated citizen from a religious minority as his advisor.”
“The view that religious minorities are an opportunity for us needs to be redefined and clarified,” Beglarian said, adding that the way monotheists view the administration needs to be revised.
Homayoon Sameh Yeh, representative of the Jewish community in in the parliament, also said, “We, the Jewish community, had several main demands that were answered positively, and we hope that the rest of our demands will be met by your efforts.”
He asked Karimi to appoint one of his advisers from religious minorities.
Sameh Yeh added, “Following the issues and demands of religious minorities will create cohesion and strengthen the relationship between the religious community and the administration. In addition, such actions are in line with national interests and help the Islamic Republic of Iran in international bodies, (especially) issues related to human rights.”
Ara Shaverdian, a representative of the Armenians in Tehran and northern Iran, also said, “Our main question is how this consultation will help the Armenian community and the followers of monotheistic religions. Is there any support from the cultural-scientific centers of the followers of monotheistic religions?”
Addressing Karimi, Shaverdian highlighted, “It is very gratifying that you are from a religious minority community and you were appointed as an advisor to the president, and we hope that positive and effective measures will be taken in this new era.”
“Our expectation from the administration and from this consultation with minorities is that the human dignity and public rights of the followers of monotheistic religions are fully supported,” said Charlie Anviyeh Tekiyeh, the representative of Assyrian-Chaldean Christians in the parliament.
For his part, Esfandiar Ekhtiari, the representative of Zoroastrians in the parliament, noted, “In general, all of us, the representatives of the followers of monotheistic religions, are with the system. Although our population is declining, and this is a serious alarm, but the existing population is also influential and role-playing.”
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