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Iran sentences 3 suspects to death over financial crimes

September 30, 2018

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Special courts in Iran set up to deal with financial crimes have sentenced three suspects to death over corruption, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.

According to the deputy chief of judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, said the three were among 35 suspects recently brought to trial, IRNA reported. Ejehi said the rest were sentenced to prison terms of up to 20 years.

The sentences can be appealed.

The special courts were established recently as part of the government’s campaign against corruption. Since America’s pullout from the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Iran’s economy has plunged into a downward spiral with the national currency, the rial, hitting record lows.

Meanwhile, trading in foreign currency and gold coins has increased. In July, Iran arrested a man who had two tons of gold coins.

Separately, Sunday, Ejehi was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as threatening anyone who forces truckers to go on strike or others who in any way disrupt transportation with “harsh punishment.”

Iranian police reportedly detained 40 people in recent months over “interrupting” commercial transportation. Police also escorted some trucks and truck drivers on the road amid fears of attacks by unidentified assailants.

Authorities have warned against strikes by truck drivers. There are nearly 1 million truck drivers in Iran, working both in cargo and passenger transportation in cities and intercity roads.

Over the past months, truckers have occasionally stopped working to protest low wages amid searing costs of vehicle parts.

Also Sunday, 153 lawmakers urged President Hassan Rouhani to proceed with his plan to help meet the needs of truck drivers, including access to new tires and spare parts. In recent months, prices of tires tippled in Iran.

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