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Members of the haredi sect Lev Tahor attempt to cross into Iran

Israel and the United States are working to prevent members of an extremist ultra-Orthodox sect from traveling to Iran, fearing they will be used as bargaining chips by Tehran, it emerged on Tuesday.

Members of the Lev Tahor group, which is anti-Zionist, sought political asylum in Iran in 2018. Documents presented to a US federal court in 2019 showed leaders of the fringe Hasidic cult sought asylum in Iran and have sworn allegiance to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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