DATE=5/15/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN / JEWS (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-262380 BYLINE=LISA BRYANT DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Eight of the 13 Jews on trial in Iran have now pleaded guilty to charges they spied for Israel. Lisa Bryant in Cairo reports that so far, only one of the 13 defendants has declared his innocence. TEXT: Defense lawyers said two more Jews -- a shopkeeper and a university professor -- have pleaded guilty to being members of an alleged spy ring. Both defendants apparently said they collected information, which they handed over to Israel. Their confessions were made in court Monday, in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. Their pleas add to a steady stream of confessions made so far at the spy trial, which opened last month. Some of the Jewish defendants have later repeated their confessions to the press or on state television. A few said they had not been coerced into pleading guilty. Defense lawyers say the two who confessed Monday denied they were founders of the alleged spy ring or that they spread propaganda against the Iranian government. A defense lawyer, Esmail Naseri, also told the Associated Press news agency (Monday) the defense may file a lawsuit against the Iranian government if more confessions are broadcast on television. Mr. Naseri said the confessions were made without the lawyers' permission and without a chance for the lawyers to consult with their clients. Mr. Naseri and other defense lawyers have also argued that beyond the guilty pleas, the state has no evidence to substantiate its spying charges. The French news agency reports that defense lawyers also want the court to begin examining Muslims also charged with spying for Israel. The nine Muslims facing spy charges are currently free on bail. The court has said they would be examined separately. Meanwhile, two lawyers from the French organization Lawyers Without Borders have volunteered to discuss the case with the defense team. The two lawyers said they were in Shiraz to examine Iran's judicial system. Iran has vowed a fair trial for the Jews. But international Jewish and human rights groups, who have lobbied for outside observers to attend the closed- door proceedings, say they fear this will not happen. Foreign governments have also voiced concern about the trial. And Iran's Jewish community says it fears a possible backlash against the country's 30-thousand Jews. The trial in Shiraz is scheduled to resume on Wednesday. (Signed) NEB/LB/JWH/KL 15-May-2000 12:03 PM EDT (15-May-2000 1603 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .