Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the U.S. of using the "pretext" of chemical weapons to attack Syria, and warned on Thursday that America will "suffer" if it decides to intervene in the conflict.
"The United States is wrong about Syria, and it is certain they will suffer... just like in Iraq and Afghanistan," Khamenei said, according to Al Jazeera.
The chief of Iran's elite Quds Force unit, Qassem Soleimani, added in a separate statement that Iran would stand behind Syria "until the end." more >>
Imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini has suffered a "devastating blow" after Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals declined to reduce his 8-year prison sentence, defying strong international pressure.
"While we remained hopeful that Iran would use its own appeal process to finally show respect for Pastor Saeed's basic human rights, again Iran has demonstrated an utter disregard for the fundamentals of human rights," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, and their two children.
"We are exploring all options with Pastor Saeed's family, including options in this country and abroad to bring more pressure on Iran from the U.S. and other countries around the world. The decision is deeply troubling and underscores Iran's continued violation of principles of freedom of religion, association, peaceful assembly, and expression," Sekulow continued. more >>
A Revolutionary Court in Tehran has sentenced an Iranian Christian convert to 10 years in prison for his Christian work, according to an Iranian Christian news agency.
Mohammad-Hadi Bordbar, who was arrested on Dec. 27, 2012, was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, according to Mohabat News. The judgment was delivered by Judge Pir-Abassi, a judge notorious for his harsh sentences.
Bordbar, aka Mostafa, was given five years for his membership in an "anti-security organization" and an additional five-year term for being part of a gathering with alleged intent to "commit crimes against national security." more >>
American Pastor Saeed Abedini's health has taken a turn for the worse and he is fainting from severe amounts of pain, according to his family in Iran who were able to visit him in Evin Prison, where he is serving an eight year sentence.
"Unfortunately, we have learned that Pastor Saeed's internal injuries are causing him increased pain," the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents Abedini's wife and two children in the U.S., revealed in a post on Monday.
"Pastor Saeed has been suffering from internal bleeding – the results of intense beatings he has sustained in prison for his faith." more >>
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has revealed this week that Mostafa Bordbar, a Christian convert in Iran, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Middle Eastern country for being part of an "anti-security organization" and "gathering with intent to commit crimes against Iranian national security."
The verdict was delivered on July 31 by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, following his trial on June 9. Bordbar is currently being held in Evin prison, infamous for its human rights violations.
CSW noted Bordbar was arrested on Dec. 27, 2012, along with 50 other Christian converts who had gathered to celebrate Christmas in a house in northern Tehran. more >>
Pastor Robert Asserian of the Central Assemblies of God Church has reportedly been freed from prison in Iran, but was told to remain silent about what he has gone through.
Mohabat News reported that the pastor of Iran's largest Persian speaking Pentecostal church, who was arrested on May 21 while leading a worship service in Tehran, was released on bail on July 2. The news agency of Iranian Christians and activists said that while there is "no clear information" on the release, he and his family have been told to keep silent about what happened.
"The condition 'silence for freedom,' shows that Iranian authorities want to portray actions such as releasing prisoners as human rights improvement in Iran," the report said. "This is done to rebuild the distorted image of the regime in the international community and escape pressure from the media for violating Human Rights." more >>