BBC Persian reported that nine Baha’i citizens were arrested in Tehran today in the early morning hours. According to a report by the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, 13 Baha’is were arrested, but Diane Ala’i, the Representative to the United Nations for the Bahá’í International Community, said that the community can only confirm the arrest of nine Baha’is.

The names of the nine are Babak Mobasher, Lava Khanjani-Mobasher, Negar Sabet, Jhinoos Sobhani, Artin Ghazanfari, Nasim Biglari, Sa’id Rowhani, Mehran Rowhani, and Payam Fanaian.

Ala’i told BBC Persian that the authorities might be using the widespread street protests against the regime on Ashura (December 27), as an excuse to escalate the persecution of the Baha’is in the country. As we’ve mentioned before, the Iranian regime has recently launched a propaganda campaign that accuses the Baha’is of orchestrating the recent protests in Iran.