Reports of Retrial for Iran Pastor Unconfirmed

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International reports that Iran's supreme court is calling for a retrial of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani may not be true, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.

Tiffany Barrans, with the ACLJ, told CBN News that the reports appear to be referring to the high court sending the case in June back to a state trial court.

"While it is possible that this is a new development at the urging of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, we have no confirmation of this from Pastor Youcef’s attorney in Iran," Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ director of policy and international operations, said in a statement.

"More likely, it is rehashing of old news," he added.

Earlier this year, Iran's supreme court said the lower court had to investigate whether Nadarkhani was a practicing Muslim before he became a Christian.

On Sept 25, the first day of the hearings, the judges declared Pastor Youcef had abandoned the faith of his ancestors and must renounce his faith in Christ or be executed.

However, the court has not yet issued a written verdict.

Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009. He was known for drawing large crowds at his house church.

Although the pastor was sentenced to death after refusing to renounce his faith, Iran soon denied that report, accusing Nadarkhani instead of rape and "security-related" crimes.

Just this week, the case was referred to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, suggesting the country may be caving to world pressure.

The United States, lawmakers, and several human rights groups have rallied behind efforts to free Nadarkhani, who is 33 years old and has a wife and three young children.

The ACLJ said Tuesday that a petition was hand delivered to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "on behalf of over 156,000 Americans, urging Secretary Clinton to engage Iran at the highest levels to secure Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani's release."

Forty members of Congress also signed a letter to Clinton urging the U.S. to intervene.

Join CBN News 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, http//bit.ly/cbnnews."

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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