Baku, Azerbaijan, May 16
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran is accusing its Baha'i citizens of working for foreign intelligence agencies.
Iran's Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani said the leaders of the Baha'i community are linked to foreign countries and receive security related orders from them, IRIB news agency reported May 16.
He expressed regret over the support from certain figures in Iran to the Baha'is, and accused them of violating the norms.
Amoli Larijani's remarks come after Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, recently met with Fariba Kamalabadi, a female leader of the Baha'i community, who had been allowed out of prison on a five-day break.
Kamalabadi was arrested eight years ago with six other leaders of the Baha'i community and sentenced to 20 years in prison for charges including espionage.
Faezeh Hashemi's meeting with Kamalabadi sparked serious controversy in the country, and both Faezeh and his moderate father have become a target of serious criticism by conservative factions in the country.
Rafsanjani himself has said his daughter had made a mistake that needs to be corrected.
Amoli Larijani further warned that defending Bahaism in Iran is meaningless, adding "it is a fake faith, forged by foreigners and colonizers."
However, he added that the members of the Baha'i community are jailed in Iran not for their beliefs, but for violating the country's security.
Amoli Larijani also warned Rafsanjani's daughter that she maybe pursued legally if her "norms violation" initiative reaches a criminal level.