Iran executes man convicted of killing a senior cleric following months of unrest

Iran executes man convicted of killing a senior cleric following months of unrest

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The Associated Press

Published Dec 13, 2023  •  1 minute read

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran on Wednesday executed a bank guard who was convicted of fatally shooting a senior cleric in April following months of unrest, state media reported.

Ayatollah Abbas Ali Soleimani, 77, was the most senior member of the clergy who was killed after protests and a bloody security crackdown on demonstrators. The protesters were enraged by the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the country’s morality police. The protests gradually died in early months of the year.

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A Wednesday report by the official IRNA news agency said the execution took place in northern city of Babol in Iran’s Mazandaran province, just north of the capital, Tehran, in the presence of the victim’s family.

The report said a court sentenced the man to death in May and the Supreme Court upheld the verdict. It did not elaborate but Iran usually applies hanging.

Authorities offered no motive for the attack in April in Babolsar, a town near the place of the execution.

Soleiman had served on the Assembly of Experts, an 88-seat panel overseeing the post of Iran’s supreme leader. He had also once served as the personal representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Iran’s restive southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.

Though Shiite clergy have long held an important role in Iran, particularly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, discontent has increased in recent years during waves of nationwide protests over economic, political and civil rights issues.

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