Dec 04, 2018 16:41 Asia/Tehran

The representative of Assyrians in the Iranian parliament, Majlis, has said: "For 2000 years we have lived in Iran as a Christian community, no one from this community has ever been harmed in Iran and no one has been repressed. We certainly don't need America as our guardian or custodian."

Iran news: In an exclusive interview with Iran Press on Tuesday, the Assyrian community's representative in the Iranian parliament (Majlis) Yonathan Bet Kolia said: "For more than 2000 years we have been living in Iran as a Christian community and during these years no harm has ever come to us and no one has been oppressed or plundered so we don't need America as our guardian."

Speaking at the joint session of deputy head of the coordination council for Islamic advertising with representatives of the monotheistic religions in Tehran, Yonathan Bet Kolia said: "The Assyrian community has been living in Iran for more than 3700 years and we have lived in this country as a Christian community for more than 2000 years."

Addressing the US, he added: "We have a 2000-year-old church in the city of Urmia (the largest city in West Azerbaijan Province of Iran) which is now a part of the cultural heritage of Iran. The church is unique in the world and along with that, we own 100 other churches in Urmia and all of them are also part of the cultural heritage too.

Assyrians, Armenians and Christians have been massacred in Turkey, Syria and Iraq and ISIS have been committed vast number of crimes against these minorities but Iran has sheltered them with an open heart.

Criticizing the US, Secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance stressed: "The US has to handle its own mess instead of talking about Iranian minorities."

Yonathan Bet Kolia added: "The US which murdered 80 members of the Davidian group in an apartment, burning them to death, is not in a position to lecture us about human rights, while I have freedom here in Iran and all my churches are being preserved and i can address all my religious ceremonies and rites based on my beliefs without the slightest interference".

"However, the US wants to be my guardian!", adding "How can i accept its guardianship? I don't accept America as my guardian.

I live in Iran with peace, and feel myself as a member of a large Iranian family, my Iranian neighbours are my family, and I have been living in safety and peace throughout history, specifically in these last 40 years.  208/ 211 / 103

Read more:

Rouhani: Assyrians have a share in all pains and sufferings in Iran

Michael Moore: America could be in 'last days of democracy'