Woonona man's pain at cemetery desecration

Khosrow Kouhbor is distressed at the excavation of his family and friends' graves at a cemetery in Iran. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Khosrow Kouhbor is distressed at the excavation of his family and friends' graves at a cemetery in Iran. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

The excavation of a cemetery in Iran has angered Woonona's Khosrow Kouhbor, whose family and friends have been buried at the site.

The Bahá'í man said he had lost many loved ones because of Islamic persecution of people from the Bahá'í faith, Iran's biggest non-Muslim religious minority.

Now, a burial site in the country's south has been desecrated.

"It is another loss, not a loss of life but of a marked place of ancestors," he said.

"We are helpless here."

Mr Kouhbor's grandparents, cousins and friends were all buried in a cemetery in Shiraz, which Iranian authorities started excavating last month.

The 64-year-old old believed a building development was planned for the site, where 950 graves of Bahá'ís lay, including 10 women hanged in 1983 for teaching the equivalent of Sunday school.

"All this devastation is taking place far away and we would really like the world to know how the Bahá'ís are suffering," Mr Kouhbor said.

"That is not what democracy or Islam is about.

"A religion should not be the cause of pain for another religion."

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