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United States Concerned Over Iranian Religious Persecution

Baha'is leaving Iran in 2008
The United States has raised concerns about religious persecution in Iran.

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said Iran had detained at least 25 people of the Baha'i religion in recent weeks and that up to 60 followers of the faith remain imprisoned "solely on the basis of their religious beliefs."

The State Department said it was concerned several Baha'i leaders on trial for espionage have been denied access to their lawyers.

On March 11, the United States released its annual review of human rights conditions around the world, a report that portrayed Iran's record as worsening.

Besides repressing religious groups, Iran, according to the report, continued to restrict freedom of expression and assembly and that 70 people had been killed and 4,000 more detained in a violent crackdown on protests.

compiled from agency reports