Tensions

State Dept. Condemns Iran

On the heels of a report detailing religious persecution by Iran’s government, the State Department is publicly criticizing the policies. “The United States is increasingly concerned about Iran’s ongoing persecution of Baha’is and other religious minority communities,” the assistant secretary for public affairs said. Baha’is are Iran’s most prominent religious minority, and up to 60 are currently imprisoned in the country due to their religious beliefs. According to the report, “Government rhetoric and actions created a threatening atmosphere for nearly all non-Shia religious groups.” Though he did not directly address the criticisms in a recent meeting, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke of the need to “support a campaign against oppressors and help monotheism flourish.”