Germany is condemning as “unacceptable” the death sentence handed down in Iran against Jamshid Sharmahd, an Iranian-German dual citizen and opposition figure accused of masterminding a deadly 2008 bombing of a mosque in Shiraz.
Sharmahd’s U.S.-based family vehemently denies the charges. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock questioned the proceedings in the case and wrote in a tweet that Sharmahd never had “even the semblance of a fair trial.” She asked Iran to reverse the death sentence immediately.
Iran’s Supreme Court this week upheld the death sentence that was issued by a lower court.
Baerbock said Germany's ambassador to Iran had cut short a business trip and was rushed back to Tehran to intervene with authorities.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani accused Germany of "interfering in Iran's internal and judicial affairs," and said "Iran will not ask permission from anyone in the way of confronting terrorism and executing justice.”
Sharmahd, 68, had been living in the United States, where he served as the spokesperson for Tondar, a group that aims to restore the Western-backed monarchy that ruled Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. His family says Iranian authorities kidnapped Sharmahd during a stopover in Dubai in 2020.
Iran accuses him of leading an armed wing of Tondar. His family says he had no involvement in any attacks.
In an interview with VOA on Wednesday, Sharmahd’s daughter Gazelle said the family hadn’t had any contact with her father, and “we must follow the latest news."
Gazelle said it was critical to note that her father was not convicted of terrorism, but of "corruption on Earth," a Quranic phrase the Islamic Republic sometimes uses as a catchall term for anti-government behavior of protesters and dissidents.
Amnesty International recently wrote a letter to the head of Iran’s judiciary asking him to immediately issue an order to reverse the "unfair conviction" and annul the death sentence.
According to Amnesty, Sharmahd has been tortured for three years and held in prolonged solitary confinement. The group says he was also deprived of adequate health care and should be released immediately.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.