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DATE=7/5/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=CLINTON - IRANIAN JEWS (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-264115 BYLINE=DEBORAH TATE DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: President Clinton has met with family members of 10 Iranian Jews sentenced to prison by Tehran for spying for Israel, and pledged support for effort to appeal the penalties. Mr. Clinton has joined other Western leaders in condemning the judicial proceedings that led to the sentences - saying they failed to accord due process of law to the defendents. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the White House. Text: Mr. Clinton says he is deeply disturbed by the verdicts handed down last week to the 10 Iranian Jews accused of espionage, saying they were determined by what he calls `a seriously flawed judicial process'. The 10 were given jail terms ranging from four to 13 years. He personally expressed his concern to the family members, and vowed to work with U-S allies to try to overturn the sentences. Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations represents the families, who do not want to speak publicly out of fear for their own lives. Mr. Hoenlein briefed reporters on Mr. Clinton's hour- long meeting. // Hoenlein actuality // He recognized and stated all of the sentences were unjust, and that he would work and 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. // end act // Also attending the meeting was Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is running for a U-S Senate seat from New York, a state with a significant Jewish electorate. Mr. Hoenlein described the meeting as emotional, with some family members crying as they described the plight of their loved ones. He described the abuse he said the 10 have suffered at the hands of Iranian authorities. // Hoenlein actuality // They have been held in solitary confinement for more than 17 months, they are allowed no visitors except five minutes a week with members of their family, when they are separated by a glass partitian. We know they have been subjected to in the past to physical and psychological torture. These confessions were coerced, obtained under duress, with no legal representation present, in violation of all standards of international law. // end act // Mr. Hoenlein says family members told Mr. Clinton that they too have been subjected to abuse - harassed at work and school, and their shops boycotted or targeted for arson. He says Mr. Clinton discussed ways to try to assure the security of the 27-thousand Iranian Jews who live in Iran. The trial of the Iranian Jews had been closely watched in the United States as a gauge of the evolving balance of power in Iran between moderates who support reform and better relations with the west,and religious conservatives who oppose reform and dialogue with the west. Observers say the Iranian court bowed to moderates by not handing down death sentences to the Iranian Jews, as has been done in similar cases in the past. At the same time, they say, the court sought to please hardliners by handing down stiff prison terms. (signed) Neb/dat/PT 05-Jul-2000 16:34 PM EDT (05-Jul-2000 2034 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .