Ethnic, religious diversity providing opportunity for unity: Rouhani

December 11, 2016 - 21:39

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani has described the ethnic and religious diversity in Iran as an asset to strengthen national unity.

The chief executive made the remarks on Sunday in a meeting with a group of Sunni scholars, ISNA reported.

Rouhani added, “We have some problems regarding ethnicities and religious minorities that must be resolved.” 

“If any person’s rights have been violated, we must defend their violated rights,” said Rouhani, promising to provide a condition through which any person’s rights would be protected.

Acknowledging religious diversity in Iran, he said this should not be viewed as a threat, but rather a great opportunity to strengthen national unity.

“All ethnicities should enjoy equal civil rights,” said Rouhani, noting that the Islamic Republic has been founded on this principle.

“Based on this principle, religions, ethnicities, and even small cultures are viewed, under the banner of Islam and Iran, as an opportunity, not a threat,” he added.

He also underlined the role that the Islamic Republic has played to promote tolerance towards religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani rejected the divisive ideologies of Takfiri groups, saying, “The Islam that we know is the Islam of mercy, and whoever recites the shahada is, in our view, a Muslim.”

The Iranian president further denounced Takfiri groups for inflicting heavy losses on the Muslim world and tarnishing the image of Islam across the world.

“They have killed decent people, destroyed historic monuments, and did these acts falsely in the name of Islam and Jihad,” he said.



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