Concluding observations Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/79/Add.25 para 22

Full recommendation:
The Committee recommends that its recently adopted General comment No.22 (48) be studied by
the authorities to bring its legislation and practice into line with the requirements of article 18 of
the Covenant. In that regard, the Committee wishes to emphasize that recognition of a religion
as a State religion should not result in any impairment of the enjoyment of any of the rights
under the Covenant, including articles 18 and 27, nor in any discrimination against adherents of
other religions or non-believers, since the right to freedom of religion and belief and the
prohibition of discrimination do not depend on the recognition as an official religion or belief.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1

A. Effective legal protection of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and
freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to
manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. (Article
18.1)
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran names the Twelver Ja’fari School of Shia Islam
as the state religion and stipulates that “other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and
their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their
religious rites” (Article 12).2 Article 13 of the Constitution provides that the Zoroastrian, Jewish,
and Christian Iranians “are the only recognized religious minorities” under Iranian law. Because
there are no laws safeguarding the right of religious minorities to worship, maintain places of
worship or assemble, the structural exclusion of other religious minorities leaves them without
legal protection to manifest and practice their religion or belief.
Religious minorities recognized by Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution, have few places of
worship compared to their numbers. Sunnis are not allowed to build new mosques in major
cities, including Tehran. In addition, a number of Sunni religious seminaries have been destroyed

1
CCPR.18.1.S.1; CCPR.18.2.S.1; CCPR.18.3.S.1; CCPR.18.4.S.1; CCPR.26.1.S.1; CCPR.27.1.S.1; CCPR.27.2.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.26.1.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.1;
CCPR.27.1.P.2; CCPR.27.2.P.1; CCPR.27.2.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.26.1.O.1; CCPR.27.1.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.2
2
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf

1

Select target paragraph3