Iran Jewish group urges justice for spying suspects
TEHRAN, Sept 7 (Reuters) - A Jewish community group in Iran has urged
authorities to ensure a fair trial for 13 Iranian Jews arrested on charges
of spying for Israel, the official news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.
It quoted Tehran's Jewish community council as saying in a statement:
``We have tried to warn opportunists and propagandists for Israel and
America against...interfering in Iran's internal affairs, but they want
the situation to be muddled so they can reach their goals.''
The statement urged judiciary officials to ``carry out justice towards
the accused so that no one will be able to abuse this case (for propaganda
purposes),'' IRNA added.
Western governments and human rights groups have voiced concern over
the fate of the 13, arrested in southern Iran early this year. Israel
and the United States have denied connections with them.
The representative of the Jewish community in Iran's parliament said
last month a speedy trial for the Jews could help ease pressure on the
Islamic republic from Western governments campaigning for their release.
An Iranian newspaper has said that the case has been handed over to
courts for trial. The 13 have been accused of military espionage, which
can carry a death sentence.
Iran says the arrests have nothing to to do with the defendants' religion
and that several Moslems have also been held in the case. Tehran has promised
a fair trial for the group but rejected foreign meddling in the case.
Moderate Iranian newspapers have called for a quick resolution of the
case, while hardliners have demanded severe punishment.