The chief defense lawyer for the 10 Iranian Jews convicted of spying for Israel, Ismail Nasseri, voiced hope Sunday that their sentences could be reduced.
"We are preparing our appeal and are hopeful of being able to change the verdicts," Nasseri told AFP.
The defendants, sentenced to up to 13 years in prison, have until July 21st to make their appeals.
Nasseri also criticized foreign countries for their condemnations of the verdict.
"We are very concerned by the interventions coming from politicians across the world," he said. "Considering Iranian officials' mentality, I don't believe that their positions have had any effect."
Nasseri said lawyers were doing their best to "defend the rights" of their clients, calling on foreign officials "not to be worried."
He also said any future intervention could have "a negative impact on the future" of his clients.
Iran's foreign ministry has repeatedly denounced US "interference" in the case and said the Jewish spy trial was entirely an internal affair.
On Wednesday, US President Bill Clinton told US Jewish leaders that he would work to win the release of the prisoners.
He said he would "try to mobilize leaders in Europe, Russia, Japan and other countries that have closer ties with Iran to work together with the United States to secure the release of these innocent people."
An Iranian revolutionary court on July 1 sentenced 10 Jews to sentences ranging from four to 13 years in prison. Two Muslims received sentences of two years, while three other Jews and two Muslims were acquitted -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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