[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Kayhan Newspaper

[Date:] 14 Ordibehesht 1393 [4 May 2014]

 

Strange, Baseless and Groundless Statements of the Senior Assistant to the President in Shiraz

During his visit to Shiraz, the senior assistant to the president, in a strange statement, [provided information about] the proximity of the Israeli government to the reformists and demanded the return of the Lion and the Sun emblem!

... The president’s senior assistant for religious and ethnic minorities said, “There are a few narrow-minded views and some have a delusional security mind-set, but these issues should not be taken as proof. Some people cannot trust ethnicities, but we must believe that Iran means these same ethnic groups and those who are proud of being Iranian. They had the most turnout in the elections, they trusted the government, and the managers and the government must trust them.”

... Younesi emphasized, “Extremist religious tendencies are condemned. Trends such as al-Qaeda, Salafism and Wahhabism in Islam, or Zionism in Jews and hardline Christians are few in number. They are dangerous for world peace and we must all work against them.”

He added, “The common message of all the prophets is that we all worship in our own language―not that I should think of converting you to Islam, nor that you should seek to dominate with your religious thinking. [It is that we should] live together, not mislead each other. [We should] accept each other as we are and consider the mission of religion as a moral [one]. Religion did not come to separate us and bring strife into our lives. Religion has come to make us kind to each other, to improve our relationship with God.”

Younesi said, “The policy of the Islamic Republic is not to oppress the followers of any religion. No one has the right to violate the rights of any minority. Citizenship means that we all have equal rights. We must move in the direction of removing obstacles, so that no Iranian is deprived of his rights because he is Iranian.”