Iranian chief justice to hold rare meetings with ministers
TEHRAN, Aug 30 (AFP) - The new head of Iran's judiciary system will
hold highly unusual meetings with the foreign and interior ministers, Iranian
sources said Monday, as the courts prepare to try 13 Iranian Jews on charges
of spying for Israel.
The sources did not say what topics Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi
plans to discuss in separate Tuesday morning meetings with Foreign Minister
Kamal Kharazi and Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari. But it is
rare for a chief judge to meet with government ministers.
A judiciary official who asked not to be identified said "these
meetings are expected to focus on several subjects with local or international
There has been a sharp rise in crime in Iran, especially burglaries,
armed assaults and kidnapping in recent weeks.
But the arrest of 13 Jews for alleged spying for Israel, a capital offense,
has triggered an international outcry, especially from Israel, the United
States and France.
The spying case is the biggest here in 20 years and centers on the Jewish
state, with which Iran considers itself to be at war politically and through
the media. The judicial system is expected to set the date and place of
the trial soon.
Iran's legal system, put in place in 1996 and based on Islamic law,
provides for the death penalty for anyone convicted of spying for Israel
or the United States.
Iran has not had relations with either country since its 1979 Islamic