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Zoroastrian allowed back on to Yazd City Council

Zoroastrian allowed back on to Yazd City Council

(Twitter @NiknamSepanta)

A Zoroastrian will be allowed to take up his position as head of Yazd City Council after Iran’s Expediency Council voted today that religious minorities should be allowed to hold such offices.

Sepanta Niknam had called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to attend the meeting and defend the presence of religious minorities, but Mr. Rouhani did not attend.

The appointment of Mr. Niknam to the Yazd City Council had been suspended following the complaint of a Muslim rival for the position, Ali Asghar Bagheri.

Mr. Niknam had already served one four-year term on the council, without incident. 

But in April Ahmad Jannati, Secretary of the Guardian Council, said religious minorities should not be allowed to run for public office as it was not in keeping with Ayatollah Khomeini’s vision for Iran.

Conservative MPs then proposed that Iranians should only be allowed to vote for members of their own religious group, but this would essentially make it impossible for anyone other than Shia Muslims to win elections.