Zoroastrians consulted on citizenship charter’s draft: Rep.

TEHRAN – Esfandiyar Ekhtiyari, who represents Iran’s Zoroastrian community in the country’s 290-seat legislature, has said representatives of religious minorities have requested changes be made to a citizenship charter, on which the Rouhani administration had sought their opinions.


“A draft of the citizenship rights charter was prepared and presented to the representatives. Having seen the document, we requested changes be made to it,” Ekhtiyari told the Tehran Times on Monday.
Ekhtiyari was elected as representative of Zoroastrians for the third term in a row in February 2016, and currently chairs the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee.
An initial draft of what has come to be dubbed “the Citizenship Rights Charter” was drawn up months after President Rouhani took office in 2013.
Two weeks ago, Elham Aminzadeh, the presidential advisor on citizenship rights, told the Tehran Times a revised version had been prepared.
On Monday she told ILNA that the charter is to be published in a matter of days.
The lawmaker appeared unaware if those amendments have been made since the last time minority lawmakers met Rouhani in 2013.
He went on to add that minority representatives have not been asked for their feedback on the final draft, however.
Under Article 19 of Iran’s Constitution, the Iranian nation, regardless of their race, language, or color, are entitled to equal rights.
Iran is the birthplace of Zoroastrianism, now a minority faith, and the Zoroastrians have been doing their utmost, like any other countryman, for the development of the country, Ekhtiyari asserted.
“The social situation of religious minorities in Iran is different, and since Iran is the motherland of the Zoroastrians, they make their best efforts for the development of their country under any circumstances,” he reiterated.

Published on Tehran Times