May 13, 2019, 12:29 PM
News Code: 83312635
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Iran respects religious minority freedom: Lebanon Christian MP

Beirut, May 13, IRNA – A Christian Lebanese lawmaker praised Iran's respecting religious minority freedom.

Chamel Roukoz, the former general of Lebanese Army, said that Iran has respected the freedom of religion and the rights of the miniorities throughout the past 40 years.

Iran, a Muslim majority country, is also the home to various religious minority groups. They have representatives in the country's parliament. Out of the total 290 seats, five are reserved for the Zoroastrians, Jews, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians and Armenians (one for Armenians in the north of Iran and one for Armenians in the south).

Speaking to IRNA, the Lebanese legislator referred to the meetings the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have had with minorities, including the Christians, and expressed satisfaction that Iran's government as an Islamic one gives freedom to minorities to perform their own religious rituals.

Commenting on the sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, he said that thanks to the multiple agreements between Iran and other countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and China, it is unlikely that Washington can tight the noose around Iran's oil sector.

'Moreover, Iran has gained enough experience and expertise to sell its crude as the country has been the target of similar sanctions over the past years,' he said.

Referring to the response given by Lebanon's President Michel Aoun to US foreign secretary Mike Pompeo, Roukoz said that the Lebanese resistance group, Hezbollah, is a political party with several ministers and lawmakers in the country's government and parliament.

Hezbollah is present in all pillars of governance in Lebanon elected by the people, he said.

'Therefore, the issue of Hezbollah is more a matter of national solidarity than a foreign relations issue,' Rouzoz said.

The Lebanese lawmaker, a son-in-law of President Aoun, was elected as a parliament member from Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) in May 2018 parliamentary elections.

He also called on Arab states to be committed to their moral obligations to stand by Syria and voice opposition to the Zionist regime of Israel move on Golan Heights.

The lawmaker expressed hope that the stance, which is shared by all Arab peoples, will be manifested in the Arab states' united position.

The decorated Lebanese general highlighted Syria's victory over terrorism in the Middle East, warning that the decline of terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIS), does not mean that terrorism is eradicated as it was reported that the extremist group has become active in Sri Lanka.
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