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Six Bahais arrested in Iran for security charge, not for faith: Government


Iran: Baha'i leadership detained
Bahai leaders arrested in Iran. In the front row seated from the left are Behrouz Tavakkoli and Saeid Rezaie. Standing from the left are Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani and Afif Naeimi. On the far right is Mahvash Sabet, detained since March.

Read Amnesty International's report

Tehran, May 20, IRNA - Government spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Elham, said on Tuesday that the arrest of six Bahais in Iran was for security reasons not for their faith.

Speaking to reporters, Elham said, "Relating the security issues to ideological matters is a mistake, although that is not an ideological issue either."

He added that the detained Bahais were members of a group working together "against national interest".

"The group is an organized establishment linked to foreigners, the Zionists in particular."

Elham added that putting emphasis on a sect called 'Bahaism' was an "old-fashioned and useless policy."

"Every country must defend its security, and this has nothing to do with ideological issues," Elham said.

He stressed that Iran's security organ observes legal principles when it arrested the six Bahais and would follow up the case carefully regardless of their faith.

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