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Iran upholds death sentence for Iranian-Swedish dissident 'lured to Turkey'

Tehran accuses the Arab opposition figure of forming a rebel separatist group
Iranian-swedish dissident Habib Farjollah Chaab attends the first hearing of his trial in Iran's capital Tehran on 18 January 2022 (AFP)
Iranian-Swedish dissident Habib Farjollah Chaab attends the first hearing of his trial in Tehran on 18 January 2022 (AFP)

Iran's Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence for an Iranian-Swedish dissident convicted of leading an Arab separatist group, state media said on Sunday. 

Habib Farjollah Chaab was found guilty in December of "corruption on earth" for forming a rebel group accused of carrying out deadly attacks in the country. 

Chaab, a founder and former leader of Harakat al-Nidal, or the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, lived in Sweden for 14 years until he was apparently lured to Turkey by Iranian intelligence agents in 2020. 

He was arrested there by security forces and later turned up in the Iranian capital, Tehran, where he was put on trial for "terrorism" charges.

Iran does not recognise dual citizenship and put Chaab on trial as an Iranian national.

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The Iranian Judiciary's Mizan Online website confirmed on Sunday that Chaab's death sentence had been upheld. 

"The death sentence of Habib Farajollah Chaab on charges of corruption on earth through the formation, management and leadership of a rebel group called Harakat al-Nidal, and the design of numerous terrorist groups in Khuzestan province, was approved by the Supreme Court," Mizan reported. 

Chaab is the latest person to be sentenced to death for being a member of Harakat al-Nidaal, which Tehran classifies as a terrorist group.

Iran has accused Harakat al-Nidal of working with other terrorist groups, including in a 2018 attack in Ahvaz, in the southwestern Khuzestan region, that Tehran said killed 25 people and injured 250 others. 

Last week, a court in Ahvaz sentenced to death six men for attacks they had allegedly orchestrated at the "orders of their European leaders".

Iran found the men guilty of "armed operations" in 2017 and 2019 that killed four people, including a soldier and two paramilitary force members.

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