Iran to try 7 Baha'is accused of spying for Israel

Teheran prosecutor claims Baha'i group received orders from Israel to undermine the Islamic system.

bahai Iranian spies 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
bahai Iranian spies 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Iran will put seven detained Baha'i believers accused of spying for Israel on trial on Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing a report by the official Iranian IRNA news agency on Saturday. "The trial of the seven Baha'is accused of spying for the Zionist regime [of Israel] and insulting sanctities will be held on Tuesday," IRNA quoted Hassan Haddad, in charge of security affairs of Teheran's prosecutor office, as saying. Haddad had previously said the seven suspects had confessed to the formation of an illegal organization and to having ties with the Jewish state. The International Baha'i Community, which represents the faith worldwide, denied the charges and reportedly said the seven people detained were members of a committee that tends to the needs of Baha'is in the Islamic republic. Iranian authorities detained six of the seven Baha'is in May 2008 on security related charges, while another was arrested in March of last year. Teheran has previously linked the group to Israel, saying Jerusalem ordered the suspects to undertake measures against the Islamic system. Baha'is regard their faith's 19th-century founder as the latest in a line of prophets including Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. Baha'is say hundreds of their followers have been jailed and executed since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. The government denies it has detained or executed people for their religion.