Today a group of officials from Tehran interviewed pastor Youcef Nadarkhani about the behavior of the judges and the charges filed against him. While it seems like a positive development, some observers are concerned that they could manipulate his words in an attempt to prove their false charges against him.
Gilan province Chief Justice, Mohammad-Javad Heshmati, was quoted by Iran Press TV as saying, “Youssef Nadar-Khani has been charged with a crime and is in a prison based on an arrest warrant issued against him…. There has been no execution order. No conviction at all has been issued yet and it is up to the court to finally decide the verdict after studying his case.” Again, this is a blatant lie as you can see in the attached copy of the written verdict in Farsi and English.
In the report by Iran Press TV, they go on to state that Youcef is a convicted rapist. The ACLJ states, “What is most dangerous is that the state-run press calls him a ‘convicted rapist.’ According to a 2010 State Department report, ‘rape is a capital offense,’ and thus he could still be executed at any time. The most disturbing part of this is that false rape charges are often used to execute political and religious dissidents.”
According to our sources, the statements made by Deputy Governor Ali Rezvani regarding the charges of “Zionism” and crimes against national security demonstrate that there is pressure to bypass the legal system and execute him. Ali Rezvani is a hardliner and has shown that he is an enemy of Christians. According to some, Mr. Rezvani is the individual who pressured the judiciary to bring these charges against brother Youcef.
We have been informed that the verdict is to be delivered on Monday, October 10th. There is speculation that the delay is a sign that the judges have decided to consult with key religious and political leaders, such as the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
We ask that you pray for both of these officials. Pray that God touches their hearts and opens their hearts and minds to the Gospel and the forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ. Of course, pray for brother Youcef, his wife, Tina, and sons, Daniel and Joel