World

Reasons for execution of 2 Iranians unclear

Conflicting reports have emerged over the execution of two Iranian men after state media claimed they were hanged for their role in protests related to the controversial presidential elections in June.

Conflicting reports have emerged over the execution of two Iranian men after state media claimed they were hanged for their role in protests related to the controversial presidential elections in June.

Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi told state TV the two men were convicted by a Revolutionary Court of belonging to "counter-revolutionary and monarchist groups," plotting to overthrow" the Islamic establishment," and planning assassinations and bombings.

He said the two confessed during the trial, but did not mention the post-election protests in connection to the case.

Rahmanipour's lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, told The Associated Press the 20-year-old Rahmanipour was arrested in April, before the June election, on the charge of membership in an armed opposition group, the Royal Association of Iran.

Iran's English language channel, Press TV, said the two also had a role in the 2008 bombing of a mosque in the southern city of Shiraz.

But state TV reported that the two were executed "in the wake of the rioting and counter-revolutionary and anti-establishment acts of recent months."

Dowlatabadi did announce that five people have been sentenced to death for their involvement in the demonstrations on Dec. 27, in which at least eight people were killed  in clashes between police and protesters and hundreds arrested.

He said nine people in total have received death sentences for their involvement in protests.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to decry the election results and voice support for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. Many believed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the election by fraud.

Dozens of protesters were killed in the unrest and hundreds have been detained since June. Tehran has faced international condemnation for cracking down on the protests.

With files from The Associated Press