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Iran executes man who killed Revolutionary Guard member in 2017-18 unrest

Mostafa Salehi convicted of shooting attack during economic protests that rocked Tehran, Mashhad and other cities

University students attend a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by anti-riot Iranian police, in Tehran, Iran, December 30, 2017. (AP Photo)
University students attend a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by anti-riot Iranian police, in Tehran, Iran, December 30, 2017. (AP Photo)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Wednesday executed a man convicted of killing a member of the Revolutionary Guards during deadly protests in 2017-18, the judiciary’s news website reported.

“Mostafa Salehi, who had murdered martyr Guard Sajad Shahsanayi with a bullet during the riots of (December 2017-January 2018), was executed this morning upon the request of the victim’s family,” Mizan Online said.

The report said Salehi had shot at security forces using a “hunting rifle,” killing Shahsanayi and wounding six others.

The protests erupted mainly over economic grievances in December 2017 with a few hundred demonstrators in Iran’s second city Mashhad and several towns.

Iranian students scuffle with police at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (AFP/ STR)

Larger-scale protests flared in other cities including Tehran in the days that followed, with authorities blocking access to online messaging services that were instrumental in organizing the demonstrations.

Ali Rabiei, the current government spokesman who was then labor minister, said later that the unrest had spread to 160 cities across Iran.

At least 21 people died during the violence, according to authorities.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said at the time that Iran’s “enemies have united and are using all their means” against the Islamic Republic.

Prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of being behind the violence.

Iranian pro-regime protesters hold anti-Israeli placards at a rally in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, December 30, 2017 (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

News of Salehi’s execution comes weeks after Iran sentenced to death a former opposition figure implicated in the same protests.

The Guards announced the arrest of Ruhollah Zam in October last year, describing him as a “counter-revolutionary” who had been “directed by France’s intelligence service.”

Zam, who reportedly lived in Paris, ran a channel on the now-blocked Telegram messaging application called Amadnews.

He was accused of inciting violence during the unrest.

Iran does not publish official statistics on the number of people it has executed.

London-based human rights group Amnesty International said Iran executed at least 251 people last year.

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