|Members of the IRGC are involved in anti-Sunni repression|
The judge Mortazavi alleged that a number of people who traveled to Arab states in the Gulf region have been converting 'naive people' to Wahhabism, but have been identified and arrested by intelligence agents.
Mortazavi announced that following raids, the accused were arrested, literature was confiscated from their homes and during interrogations they made 'confessions'. The file has been passed to the Abadan Revolutionary Court.
Nematullah Behroozi, the head of Abadan Justice Administration, said: “The aims of this secret sect contradict with Islam and Shi'ism. These sect promoters are targeting those who are illiterate or have insufficient information about the sect. They first instill doubts about Shi'ism and then deceive them and pay them money to recruit them.”
There is no suggestion that those arrested have been involved in violent activities or political subversion. 'Wahhabism' is a term used to denounce any form of Sunni belief, including those schools that are in opposition to the highly conservative Wahhabi thought that Iran associates with violent radicalism. Traditionally, the Sunni Arab population in Iran has been concentrated along the Shatt al-Arab and the Gulf coast.
Many Ahwazi Arabs are converting to Sunnism due to their rejection of the Shia theocratic political system in Iran. Such conversions cannot be deemed apostasy in Islam, which would carry the death penalty. As such, the government seeks to justify the denial of freedom of worship by associating Sunnism with subversive foreign influence, particularly from Saudi Arabia. Often those accused of Wahhabism are secularist and progressive in their outlook.