01/03/2019, 10.51
IRAN
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Best wishes for the new year from Teheran. Armenian bishop: In Iran there is freedom of worship

The head of Iranian diplomacy invokes "peace for all earth". And prays that no innocent man, woman or child should lose their life. President Rouhani emphasizes the role of Iranian Christians for the development of the country. Armenian Bishop: We need more knowledge of the country in the West.

Teheran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif - author of the historic agreement on nuclear power (the JCPO) of 2015 disavowed by Trump – wishes for "peace" in the new year's message of good wishes for the new year for all earth". Addressing the citizens and world leaders, the head of diplomacy in Tehran hopes for a common action against "terrorism, war and hunger in the year 2019".

In a post relaunched on twitter, Zardari claims to hope "in a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year". The Iranian leader also says he is praying that no innocent man, woman or child should lose their life because of hunger, conflict or terrorism.

Previously it was President Hassan Rouhani himself who addressed a message of good wishes to world leaders and Iranian Christians for the beginning of 2019, saying he was confident that the world could grow "in wellbeing and prosperity" through a collective effort. On the occasion of the New Year, he then met the relatives of the Armenian Iranian martyr Alfred Gabri and war veteran Hasou Keshish Danilian.

The head of state thanked the Iranian Armenian community for its contribution with a view to maintaining national security. "Today - said Rouhani - they are ready for further sacrifices and this is truly admirable". He then stressed that Muslims consider Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary as sacred figures and has exalted the Armenians - the most important religious minority in the country - for what was done during the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the war with Iraq between 1980 and 1988.

In Iran there are between 300,000 and 500,000 Christians, mostly Armenians, Assyrians and Chaldeans. Christians have representatives in Parliament (Majlis) who enjoy the same rights and representativeness of their Muslim colleagues.

Yesterday, Bishop Sipan Kashjian, leader of the Armenians in Isfahan and southern Iran, recalled the religious freedom enjoyed by Christians in the country. "In spite of Western propaganda - he said - the faithful of different religions enjoy complete freedom of worship and can practice freely and independently". "I hope the new year - he concluded - can bring more knowledge and awareness in the world on Iran".

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