US-based priest killed in Iran: reports

27 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

TEHRAN: A Zoroastrian priest who resided in the United States has been killed on a visit to Iran, the country’s judiciary said in local media reports on Sunday.

The body of Arash Kasravi was found in the central province of Kerman alongside those of two other people who were not members of the religious minority, the province’s prosecutor was quoted as saying.

“Three bodies were discovered in a villa in Mahan city and they were apparently murdered,” Dadkhoda Salari told state television.

“Investigations showed that one of them was Arash Kasravi, a member of the Zoroastrian religious minority,” he added.

The prosecutor did not disclose the identity of the two others who were slain.

But he added that the murder seemed financially motivated, and noted that $10,000 (8,500 euros) was found in one of the victims’ cars.

Iran’s Etemad newspaper said Kasravi was a US resident who had been living in California with his family for the past 10 years.

The daily said he had returned to Iran last year to attend his father’s funeral and stayed for inheritance proceedings but disappeared days ago with two “friends” before being found dead.

Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion in Persia, prior to the arrival of Islam, but according to government figures they only counted about 25,000 adherents in 2018.