Iranian Regime Forcibly Turning Assyrian Church Grounds Into Mosque

While Secretary of State John Kerry bends over backwards to accommodate the Iranian regime and views it as a partner in "peace," officials in Tehran illegally confiscated grounds belonging to the Chaldean Catholic Church and are now plotting to turn it into an "Islamic prayer center."

The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), which follows the plight of its Christian community in Islamic lands, reports that the land belongs to the Iranian Assyrian community's Chaldean Catholic Church, situated in Western Tehran. AINA reports that teh church grounds were "illegally confiscated two years ago under the pretext of constructing an Islamic prayer hall and the authorities have refused to hand it back, a member of the regime's Majlis (Parliament) was quoted as saying by the state-run newspaper Sharq on Wednesday, December 30." AINA provides additional details: 

Repeated complaints about the illegal confiscation of the church grounds have fallen on deaf ears despite repeated pleas by the representatives of the Christian minority, said Jonathan Bet-Kelia, a member of the regime's Majlis.

Bet-Kelia told Sharq that he had approached Ali Younesi, special assistant to the regime's President Hassan Rouhani on ethnic minorities affairs, on this matter but was told that nothing could be done about it. Younesi is a former Minister of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and is personally responsible for ordering numerous arrests and assassinations of dissidents.

Commenting on the regime's admission that it had usurped church grounds to build its own prayer hall, Ali Safavi of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said: "The brazen admission displays first and foremost the discriminatory and sectarian policies of the regime vis-à-vis Iran's religious minorities. At the same time, it speaks to the failure of Western policy to accommodate the regime in the futile hope that it will promote moderation and tolerance on the domestic front."

Under Shiite rule, the Iranian regime has also dismantled houses of worship and discriminated against the country's minority Sunni Muslim population as well. 

Officials from the Tehran municipality, backed by state suppressive forces (police), raided and destroyed the Sunni 'Pounak' prayer hall. They also searched the premises of the mosque's Sunni imam Abdullah Moussa-Zadeh and confiscated his mobile phone.

The Tehran municipality had shut down the Pounak prayer hall and placed seals on its entrance earlier in the year. Although the seals were later removed, Sunni Muslims had been prevented from praying in the center.

At the time, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian Resistance, described the destruction of the Sunni prayer hall in the Pounak district of Tehran as an anti-Islamic, sectarian and criminal act, and she called on all defenders of human rights and freedom of religion and belief and the international community, especially Muslim countries, Europe and the US, to protest against it.

The Iranian regime with which our president and secretary of state are so smitten is persecuting people of all walks on daily basis: Christians, Jews, women, Sunni-Muslims, homosexuals and other minority groups. Iranian officials routinely pledge their hatred of the U.S., vocalize their intent to destroy the State of Israel, imprison Western journalists and continues its nuclear weapons ambitions undeterred. Iran's transgressions against humanity continue to mount, all the while being enabled by the international community.