Also on Thursday, Iran's former President Mohammad Khatami said Iran is the most democratic state in the Middle East.
Addressing the 38th World Economic Forum in Davos, Khatami said, "Obviously, opposition against Iran is politically motivated. Extremists in any religion always consider everything in black and white and have no tool but violence."
Noting that love is at the core of Islam and Christianity, he said, "Extremists in both the religions want to turn love into hatred."
Iran has sentenced three members of the Bahai faith to four years in jail for security offences and 51 others to suspended prison terms.
They were convicted for propaganda against the system in the southern city of Shiraz, a judiciary spokesman said, without giving details.
Bahaism is a branch of Islam viewed as heresy by Iran's religious authorities.
The spokesman said the 51 suspended sentences were conditional on attending courses by state propaganda officials.
SEP and ISSE demand immediate release of arrested students
By Joe Kay
28 January 2008
On January 15, as part of a brutal crackdown on domestic opposition, the Iranian government arrested another 10 members of the Students for Freedom and Equality in Iran (also known as the Radical Left). Two more students were arrested on January 24. More than 40 members of the group are now behind bars at Iran's notorious Evin prison or have been released on bail
On December 4, Iranian police forces arrested 33 students who were participating in demonstrations marking "Students Day." The day commemorates the deaths of three students who were killed by the government of the US-supported Shah of Iran on December 7, 1953, while they protested the visit of then-US Vice President Richard Nixon.
Below is an appeal by
To: World Leaders, International Human Rights Organizations and Media
Despite our appeal of 1/14/2008 and the appeals of the international community and a large number of international human rights organizations, this morning at 4 AM, the Iranian regime executed Mr. Zamel Bawi, , 29 years old, married with one child, resident of Ahwaz, a small business owner and the son of Ahwazi Arab tribal leader Hajj Salem Bawi. This execution took place in Karoon prison in
In the 12 months, at least 19 Ahwazi-Arab activists have been publicly hanged (three were executed just days after UN Human Rights Commissioner, Ms. Arbour, visited Tehran in September 2007).