TEHRAN (Alik)–The only two Iranian-Armenian representatives in the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran–Vardan Vardanian and Ardavast Baghoomian–left the Saturday morning legislature session in protest of a visit by a Turkish delegation led by Turkish Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin.
The representative of the northern Iranian-Armenian community explained to the chair of the meeting that his protest was based on the principles brought forth by the late Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini–which advocated for freedom–as well as articles in the Iranian constitution outlawing human rights violations and injustice.
The representative also remembered Turkey’s perpetration of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and its adamant denial for more than 80 years. Therefore–he said–the Iranian parliament parliament should not accept the Turkish delegation as a guest of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Chair of the meeting and vice-speaker Rohani replied by saying that the Parliament would accept the delegation for the purpose of the establishing friendly relations with neighboring states. He added–however–that Iran was not justifying Turkey’s past injustices.