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Top Sunni cleric laments Iran's discrimination against minorities

In his scathing criticism, Mawlawi Abdul-Hamid also recognized the ongoing protests in Khuzestan province, which in his view, should not be reduced to the water crisis.
Iranian boys ride their bicycles in Adimi village in Hamoon wetland near the Zabol town in southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, bordering Afghanistan, Feb. 2, 2015.

The highest-ranking and most popular Sunni cleric in Iran, Mawlawi Abdul-Hamid, expressed concern for the overall situation of minorities in Iran under the Islamic Republic, saying the same ethnicities in neighboring countries and the Persian Gulf region "are better off."

"When comparing their lives to people in Kuwait and other Persian Gulf nations, our fellow Arab countrymen clearly find themselves in livelihood hardships," the cleric told Sunni Online, a news outlet that monitors the situation of Iran's Sunni community. "They have no welfare and no authority to decide their future as they also suffer from pressure and discrimination," the cleric said in reference to the ethnic Arabs in Khuzestan.

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