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Iran sentences seven over Ahwaz bombings

Seven people have been sentenced in relation to the bomb attacks in Ahwaz in January, according to reports in the Iranian media.

Little is known of the seven that have been sentenced or the 38 others still awaiting trial as court proceedings for political crimes are usually carried out in secret. An Iranian official claimed that the men were convicted of "murder, war against God and being corrupt on the earth." These crimes carry the death penalty.

Nine people died in the bombings and at least 40 were injured. The authorities have claimed that the British were directly responsible, but have yet to publish evidence of a link. Previous bombings have also been blamed on the British, although the Iranian regime has been reluctant to take any retaliatory measures or prove a link with alleged bombers. The British government has denied the allegations. The regime has also failed to present the British government a list of Ahwazi exiles for extradition to face trial, which it had threatened to do after the October bombings in Ahwaz.

One relatively unknown Canada-based group which has little influence within the Ahwazi community has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including the explosions in January. It is impossible to verify their claims and the Iranian regime has not singled out any Ahwazi movement for responsibility.

A statement signed by a number of Ahwazi groups, including the Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz and the National United Movement of Al-Ahwaz, condemned all forms of political violence following the January attacks. The statement, which was also signed by the British Ahwazi Friendship Society and supported by the Balochistan Peoples Party (BPP) and the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI), can be downloaded by clicking here.