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Iran Rejects American Bill on Minority Rights

The Assyrian Universal Alliance has denounced a recent US Senate bill accusing the Islamic Republic of violating the rights of its minority communities. "Iranian Christians do not need the sympathy of those who falsely claim to be supporters of human rights," Yonathan Betkolia, the secretary-general of the alliance, was also quoted as saying by IRNA on Monday. The measure, which passed the senate on Thursday, calls on the US administration to condemn Iran for allegedly persecuting religious minorities and continuing the violation of their rights. Under the Islamic Republic's Constitution, Assyrians are recognized as a religious and ethnic minority, and hold one seat in the parliament. As of 2004, the seat has been occupied by Betkolia.

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