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News number: 8809140594

16:04 | 2009-12-05

Foriegn Policy

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Tehran Warns Bern against Consequences of Anti-Islamic Decision

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran blasted Switzerland's decision in banning the building of minarets in the country, warning against the consequences of such anti-Islamic moves.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in a telephone conversation with his Swiss counterpart Micheline Calmy-Rey on Saturday condemned Switzerland's ban on building minarets.

Mottaki warned the European states against the "consequences" of their anti-Islamic acts.

The Swiss voters on Sunday said yes to a ban on construction of Muslim minarets which are distinctive architectural features of Islamic mosques.

The Swiss government said in a statement that it respected the decision made by Swiss voters, and "consequently the construction of new minarets in Switzerland is no longer permitted."

Mottaki said that Bern's decision to halt building new minarets was "against the prestige of a country which claims to be an advocate of democracy and human rights."

Mottaki added that the act "will damage Switzerland's image as a pioneer of respecting human rights among Muslims' public opinion."

"Values such as tolerance, dialogue and respecting others' religious should never be put to referendum," Mottaki told his Swiss counterpart.

He expressed hope that Bern would soon "take necessary steps and find a constitutional way to prevent imposition of the ban."

Meanwhile, Ms Calmy-Rey said that the referendum was carried out against the will of the Swiss government and parliament and was proposed by the ruling party.

She stressed that the Swiss government "will use all its means to support Muslims rights."