The constitution states that Islam is the official state religion, and the doctrine followed is that of Ja'afari (Twelver) Shiism. The constitution provides that "other Islamic denominations are to be accorded full respect," while the country's pre-Islamic religious groups -- Zoroastrians, Christians, and Jews -- are recognized as "protected" religious minorities. The fourth article of the constitution states that all laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria an official interpretation of Sharia (Islamic Law).
Government rhetoric and actions created a threatening atmosphere for nearly all non-Shia religious groups, most notably for Bahais, as well as Sufi Muslims, evangelical Christians, Jews, and Shia groups that do not share the government's official religious views. Reports of government imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination based on religious beliefs continued during the reporting period. Bahai religious groups reportedarbitrary arrest and prolonged detention, expulsions from universities, and confiscation of property.

During the reporting period government-controlled broadcast and print media intensified negative campaigns against religious minorities, particularly the Bahais. All non-Shia religious minorities suffered varying degrees of officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education, and housing. scribd

Iranian actress sentenced to 90 lashes

An Iranian actress has been sentenced to 90 lashes and a year in prison for starring in a film that shows artistic repression in the country, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Marzieh Vafamehr was arrested in July and received her sentence at the weekend.

In the 2009 film, ‘My Tehran for Sale’, Vafamehr plays an actress whose work is banned by authorities and is forced to lead a secret life to express herself artistically.

Vafamehr often appears with a shaved head and no headscarf, and there are scenes of drug use in the film, according to Iranian opposition website kalameh.com. yahoo

Court upholds sentence against Jafar Panahi

TEHRAN: A Tehran appeals court has upheld a six-year jail sentence and 20-year filmmaking and travel ban against international award-winning Iranian director Jafar Panahi, his family told AFP on Saturday.

The verdict, handed down around two weeks ago, has not yet been carried out, the family said.

The government-run newspaper Iran confirmed the ruling in its Saturday edition, saying: "The charges he was sentenced for are acting against national security and propaganda against the regime." thenews