Iran Warns of Consequences Against Switzerland over Minaret Ban
Iran has warned that there will be “consequences” against Switzerland if it will implement a ban on the construction of new minarets over Muslim mosques in the country. The ban was ratified in a national referendum last November 29.
The Swiss population voted 57% to validate the referendum. The government and parliament are against the ban but declared that they will honor the results of the national poll.
Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told Swiss counterpart Micheline Calmy-Rey over the phone that the restriction is “against the prestige of a country which claims to be an advocate of democracy and human rights.” He is hoping that Bern will find the necessary steps to be able to prevent the implementation of the ban.
Iran, which is 90% Shiite Muslim, has allowed the construction of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues in its territory, although some Sunni Muslims are complaining that they are having troubles creating their places of worship.
The ban drew criticism from the United Nations, Muslim states, fellow European nations and the Vatican.