x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Iran begins fourth mass trial

The fourth mass trial starts, including senior politicians on charges such as acting against national security which is punishable by death.

TEHRAN // Iran began its fourth mass trial of people accused of fomenting unrest after the disputed June presidential election today, the state broadcaster IRIB reported. The official IRNA news agency said those to be put on trial in a Tehran Revolutionary Court include the former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh, the former deputy foreign minister Mohsen Aminzadeh, the former government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh and Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh.

The June 12 vote plunged the Islamic state into its most serious internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution and exposed deep divisions in its ruling elite. "In the fourth court session, the elements and plotters of the recent riots and disturbances in Iran will be put on trial and some of them are expected to present their defiance," IRNA said. Iran has held three mass trials already this month of more than 100 detainees, including senior politicians, on charges including acting against national security, which is punishable by death under Iran's Islamic law.

The French teaching assistant Clotilde Reiss and two Iranians working for the British and French embassies in Tehran were among those tried on August 8. Western countries and human rights groups have condemned the trials. * Reuters