Lawyers Fear Iran Concocting Case Against Pastor

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New reports are surfacing that imprisoned Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was questioned by Iranian officials Wednesday about his case and the charges he's facing.

Present Truth Ministries, which has worked closely with Nadarkhani throughout his trial, said a group from Tehran came to interview the pastor.

It's unclear what their intensions were or what was said, but the American Center for Law and Justice warned that the meeting may not be a positive development.

"We are concerned that Iran could be attempting to put together a case against him, manipulating his own words, in order to prove false new allegations against him," Jordan Sekulow said in an email to CBN News.

Delivery of the verdict in Nadarkhani's trial has been delayed to Monday, Oct. 10.

Sekulow said the delay could be a sign that the judges have decided to consult with key religious and political leaders, including Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Earlier, Iranian media gave contradicting accounts of Nadarkhani's case -- even denying that he was facing the death penalty at all.

Nadarkhani has been convicted of apostasy from Islam and can be executed at any time. But a statement on the Iranian Embassy's website in London says the court has not issued a verdict.

Therefore, "the allegations...of the death penalty...are unsubstantiated," embassy officials said.

Meanwhile, an Iranian news agency quoted a local official as saying Nadarkhani has been convicted of 'Zionism' and threats to national security. Both are death penalty offenses.
    
Human rights groups say the regime's conflicting statements could be a sign that international pressure is working.

The American Center for Law and Justice's Jordan Sekulow offered his insight on the latest developments in Nadarkhani's case, on CBN News Channel Morning News, Oct. 5.

CBN News has started an effort on Twitter to spread the word about Pastor Youcef's case.

  • Follow us @CBNNews, then retweet our post, "Who is Youcef Nadarkhani? A pastor, husband & father who may be killed in Iran for his faith. RT for religious freedom."

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling for urgent action:

  • Voice your concerns now to the Iranian Embassy here.
  • You can also call the Iranian liaison office in the U.S. State Department. The number is 202-647-6575.

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