News ID: 218006
Published: 0305 GMT July 09, 2018

Arbitration body commissions: Suspended Zoroastrian councilor can take his seat

Arbitration body commissions: Suspended Zoroastrian councilor can take his seat

Two commissions of Iran’s arbitration body decided on Monday that a Zoroastrian councilor suspended last year can take his seat in the central city of Yazd, a lawmaker said.

The political and judicial commissions of the Expediency Council agreed that Sepanta Niknam can return to the Yazd City Council, Mohammad Javad Kolivand, chairman of Councils and Internal Affairs Committee of the Parliament told

Niknam was elected for a second successive term as one of the 11 members of the Yazd City Council in May 2017.

In September, a losing candidate lodged a complaint to unseat Niknam. He argued that it was not in keeping with Iran's Constitution for a member of a religious minority to make decisions on behalf of the whole population of a majority-Muslim city.

Iran's Administrative Court suspended Niknam and refereed the matter to the Guardian Council, which is responsible for overseeing elections and confirming their results. It agreed with the suspension.

However, the Parliament opposed the decision and promised to pursue the case.

The Expediency Council mediates legislative differences between the Parliament and the Guardian Council.

Approximately 25,000 Zoroastrians live in Iran. Yazd is home to the second-largest Zoroastrian community after Tehran.

The Iranian Constitution recognizes Zoroastrianism as a legal faith. It allows Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Armenians to each elect one MP to the Parliament.



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