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Germany expels 2 Iran envoys over death sentence

February 22, 2023

The Iranian diplomats have been ordered to leave the country immediately. The decision came after a German-Iranian national was handed a death sentence in Tehran.

The Iranian Embassy building in Berlin
Two Iranian Embassy employees have been ordered to leave Germany Image: Sascha Steinach/IMAGO

Germany has declared two employees of the Iranian Embassy in Berlin personae non gratae and ordered them to leave the country, a statement from the foreign office said Wednesday.

The decision was announced after an Iranian court sentenced German-Iranian citizen Jamshid Sharmahd to death.

Germany also summoned Iran's charge d'affaires over the verdict, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.

"He was informed that we do not accept the massive violation of the rights of a German citizen," she added. "We call on Iran to revoke Jamshid Sharmahd's death sentence and provide him with a fair appeal process based on the rule of law." 

What we know about Sharmahd's trial

Authorities in Tehran handed 67-year-old Sharmahd the death penalty on Tuesday after he was convicted of terrorist activities.

Iran accuses him of leading an armed pro-monarchist group that it says carried out a deadly terror attack at a mosque in Shiraz in 2008. 

Sharmahd, who is also a US resident, denies the charges, and his family has described the legal process as a "sham trial."

The verdict can be appealed at Iran's Supreme Court of Justice.

Sharmahd in a Tehran Revolutionary Court
A Revolutionary Court in Tehran convicted the 67-year-old of terrorismImage: Koosha Falahi/Mizan/dpa/picture alliance

Berlin has said the Sharmahd did not have "even the beginning of a fair trial," and that access to the trial had been denied. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday condemned the death sentence as unacceptable and alleged the Iranian regime "fights its own people in every possible way and disregards human rights." 

Foreign Minister Baerbock said Sharmahd had been arrested "under highly questionable circumstances." His family had accused Iranian authorities of "abducting" him while in transit in Dubai.

Rights groups say defendants tried in a Revolutionary Court, like Sharmahd, are unable to choose their lawyers or see the evidence against them.

Berlin's move on Wednesday comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West. Germany has been a vocal supporter of EU sanctions against Tehran over its crackdown on protesters

West should isolate Iran like it isolated Russia: activist

fb,nm (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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