Iran provides equal rights for religious minorities: Jewish MP

TEHRAN, Sept. 17 (MNA) — Representatives of religious minorities in Majlis enjoy rights equal to other parliamentarians and are elected through free and fair elections, said MP Morris Mo’tamed, representative of the Jewish community here on Monday.
Addressing a meeting of MPs from religious minorities with conservative members of British House of Commons, Mo’tamed dismissed as unreal Washington’s claim that the Islamic Republic of Iran is violating the rights of religious minorities.

“The Jewish Community has protested over this report through an official statement,” he added.

On drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe, Mo’tamed said that Iran is determined to combat drugs smuggle and has so far suffered extensive financial and human loses in campaign against drug traffickers.

Despite hopes that foreign troops’ presence in Afghanistan would settle the problem of drug cultivation for the most part, it has unexpectedly increased.

MP Yonatan Bet Kolia, the representative of the Assyrian and Chaldean Christian communities in the Majlis also told the meeting that Assyrians are proud of their national and religious identity.

Assyrians are free to perform religious ceremonies in Iran, added the official.

Commenting on Iraqi crisis, he said that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq did not prevent the destruction of churches and many Assyrians and other Iraqi Christian had been forced to flee to other countries.

For his part, Richard Spring, a conservative member of British House of Commons said that the British government has not properly treated the Islamic Republic regarding certain issues and expressed hope that outstanding problems between the two countries would be resolved as soon as possible.

He also expressed appreciation over Iran’s efforts to combat drug trafficking.