Iran General News Iran to try seven Bahais on Israel spy charges

Iran to try seven Bahais on Israel spy charges

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ImageAFP: Iran will put on trial seven members of the banned Bahai religion on charges of spying for arch-foe Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iran will put on trial seven members of the banned Bahai religion on charges of spying for arch-foe Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

"The trial of seven arrested Bahais accused of espionage for Israel and insulting sanctities will be held on Tuesday," deputy Tehran prosecutor Hassan Haddad said.

Haddad said that the suspects were also charged with making "propaganda against the Islamic republic of Iran" and that they will be prosecuted in a revolutionary court.

Iran and Israel have no ties and during his first four-year term President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's made several verbal tirades against the Jewish state.

Followers of the Bahai faith, founded in Iran in 1863, are regarded as infidels and have suffered persecution both before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Bahai teachings emphasise the underlying unity of major religions, with history having produced a succession of divine messengers, each of which founded a religion suitable for the times.

Bahais consider Bahaullah, born in 1817, to be the last prophet sent by God. This is in direct conflict with Islam, the religion of the vast majority of Iranians, which considers Mohammed to be the last prophet.

In late 2008, Iran reported the hanging of a Bahai man for rape and adultery.

The European Union has expressed "serious concern" about the continuing systematic discrimination and harassment of Iranian Bahais on the grounds of their religion.

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