Iran sentences four in alleged US-backed coup plot

The Tehran Revolutionary Court announced Jan. 17 that it has convicted four Iranians of involvement in a US-supported plan to overthrow the Iranian government. The court said that the four men had confessed to planning to overthrow the Iranian government in cooperation with the US State Department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Days earlier, Iranian judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi announced the men’s arrest, and said that they had received funding for the alleged coup from the administration of US President George Bush. Neither the identities of the men nor the prison sentences they were given have been released. Responding to a question on whether the US was involved in such a plan, a State Department spokesperson said such allegations were “baseless,” and said that Iran was using the charges to quite political activists.

In June, Iran confirmed that it was detaining Iranian-American peace activist Ali Shakeri after Bush strongly condemned Iran’s detention of Shakeri and three other Iran-Americans, including Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, and Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima. In May, Iran formally charged Tajbakhsh and Azima for conspiring against the government. Earlier than month, Iran formally charged Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the DC-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, with plotting to overthrow the Iranian government by organizing a network “against the sovereignty of the country.” (Jurist, Jan. 18)

See our last post on Iran.

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