Also demands Obama “relentlessly call” for release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhan, who’s been sentenced to death for leaving Islam.
(The Hill) — Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) accused Iran of egregious violations of religious freedoms and lashed out at the United Nations for keeping quiet on the issue.
“While there has been some good documentation of this [human rights violations in Iran] by a few in the media and in the human rights arena, there has unfortunately been a cowardly silence by the UN and most of the international community in this case and others,” Rubio wrote in an op-ed published on the website of the conservative magazine National Review.
Rubio pointed to a Christian pastor who is expected to be executed by Iran’s government for abandoning Islam as an example the growing violations in the Shiite-ruled country.
“In recent years, there has been a very troubling increase in religious persecution in Iran,” wrote Rubio. “This is true for anti-Christian efforts, but it has also been evident in the repression of non-Shiite Muslims.”
Rubio also demanded that the Obama administration call for the pastor’s release.
“Our own State Department should call for his immediate release,” said Rubio. “These are the moments when the government of this great nation must not be silent, and must be a voice for freedom for those who are defenseless. [I] urge the administration to relentlessly call for an immediate and unconditional release for Pastor Nadarkhani.”