Tehran denies hanging Baha'i for converting a Moslem

TEHRAN, July 26 (AFP) - The Iranian judiciary denied Sunday a US report that Iran has hung a member of the Baha'i community for converting a Muslim.

Radio Tehran quoted the president of the Tehran revolutionary tribunal Gholam- Hossein Rahbar-Pour as saying that the report is totally false and that no Iranian court has delivered such a verdict.

On Tuesday, the US State Department said it condemned the execution of Ruhollah Rophani on charges of converting a Muslim. It said he was arrested along with three other Baha'is in the autumn of 1997.

On Friday, a spokesman for the Baha'i community in France said he feared for the lives of the other three, who had also been sentenced to death but were being retried on a legal technicality.

According to Western sources, more than 200 Baha'is have been executed in Iran since the start of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

The Baha'i faith, founded in Iran in 1844, has always been rejected by Shiite Islam, the country's majority faith.