DCSIMG
Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Texts & Transcripts

Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iran

06 July 2011

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
July 6, 2011

STATEMENT BY VICTORIA NULAND, SPOKESPERSON

Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iran

We are dismayed over reports that the Iranian courts are requiring Youcef Nadarkhani to recant his Christian faith or face the death penalty for apostasy – a charge based on his religious beliefs. If carried out, it would be the first execution for apostasy in Iran since 1990.

He is just one of thousands who face persecution for their religious beliefs in Iran, including the seven leaders of the Baha’i community whose imprisonment was increased to 20 years for practicing their faith and hundreds of Sufis who have been flogged in public because of their beliefs.

While Iran’s leaders hypocritically claim to promote tolerance, they continue to detain, imprison, harass, and abuse those who simply wish to worship the faith of their choosing.

We join the international community in continuing to call on the Iranian government to respect the fundamental rights of all its citizens and uphold its international commitments to protect them.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)