Call upon Iran to respect all faiths, including the Baha'i faith

News release
1 June 2009

Former FCO Minister Appeals for Respect for Baha’i and all faiths

Denis MacShane MP for Rotherham has called upon the Iranian government to allow members of the Baha’i faith to worship freely in Iran.

“All UN member states are signed up to the UN Declaration of Human Rights which respects the right of people of all faiths to observe and worship according to their beliefs providing they do not seek to impose those beliefs on others.

“Iran’s disregard for its international obligations is particularly sad and bad in respect of the Baha’is. Those trying to hold the Baha’i faith together in Iran face arrest and imprisonment without due process or worse.

“It is too easy to see Iran only in geo-political terms and in the context of its race to get nuclear weapons. But we should never forget the persecution of Iranians of a different Islamic faith from the majority Shia community – even if that latter version of Islam is regarded disfavourably by some fundamentalist Sunni ideologues.

“We should all pray that the different branches of Islam can compose their differences and stop persecuting one another,” said MacShane.