Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/72/322 para 118
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur urges the authorities to recognise that dialogue and the inclusive
participation of all the citizens in a diverse society can form the basis for enduring initiatives
that address poverty and development, and can also serve to strengthen protections for the rights
of all ethnic minorities in the country. She further encourages authorities to ensure that the
rights of the members of the most vulnerable communities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are
protected and respected.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Article 14 of the Constitution sets out that the government and Muslims in Iran are “duty-bound
to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the principles of Islamic justice and
equity, and to respect their citizen rights”. 2 Article 19 of the Constitution protects the equal
rights of any “ethnic group or tribe” regardless or “colour, race, language, and the like”.3
Additionally, Article 20 of the Constitution states that “All citizens of the country, both men and
women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social,
and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria”. There is no clear definition of what
constitutes Islamic criteria under Iranian law.
However, Arabs, Azerbaijani Turks, Balochis and Kurds, Turkemen, among other groups, face
targeted discrimination and marginalisation on the basis of their identity and are generally
sidelined from economic, social and cultural life in Iran.
Article 15 of the Iranian Constitution4 sets Persian as the only official language in the country
but also provides that “the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as
well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Persian.” However, the
article effectively restricts the use of languages other than Persian to the press and mass media,
and to literature in schools. The law does not guarantee that children who belong to linguistic
minorities will have access to education in their mother tongue.

1

CCPR.18.1.S.1; CCPR.18.2.S.1; CCPR.18.3.S.1; CCPR.18.4.S.1; CCPR.27.1.S.1; CCPR.27.2.S.1; ESCR.2.2.S.1
CCPR.18.1.P.1; CCPR.18.1.P.2; CCPR.18.2.P.1; CCPR.18.3.P.1; CCPR.18.4.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.2;
CCPR.27.2.P.1; CCPR.27.2.P.2; ESCR.2.2.P.2; CCPR.18.1.O.4; CCPR.18.1.O.5; CCPR.18.1.O.6; CCPR.18.2.O.1;

CCPR.18.2.O.2; CCPR.18.3.O.1; CCPR.18.4.O.1; CCPR.18.4.O.2; CCPR.27.1.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.2; ESCR.2.2.O.1
2
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
3
Ibid.
4
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran: http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution.php

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