Germany Expels Iranian Diplomats Over Death Sentence of German Citizen, Jamshid Sharmahd
Germany has expelled two Iranian diplomats in protest of the death sentence handed down by Iranian authorities to a German citizen, Jamshid Sharmahd. On Tuesday, Iran announced that Sharmahd, a 67-year-old Iranian-German national and U.S. resident, had been convicted of terrorist activities and was sentenced to death. However, Sharmahd's family has denied the allegations, claiming he was merely the spokesman for an opposition group and was not involved in any attacks.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has demanded that Iran revoke Sharmahd's death sentence and grant him an appeal that is fair and in line with the rule of law. Baerbock has accused Iran of violating the rights of a German citizen and declared that Germany will not accept such a massive breach of those rights. She has also alleged that Sharmahd did not receive a fair trial and was arrested under highly questionable circumstances.
Sharmahd's family has accused Iranian intelligence of abducting him from Dubai in 2020. The judiciary's official website in Iran claimed that Sharmahd was convicted of plotting terrorist activities and tried in a Revolutionary Court, where proceedings are held behind closed doors. However, rights groups claim that defendants in such courts are unable to choose their lawyers or see the evidence against them.
The death sentence has come at a time when Iran is experiencing months of anti-government protests, which have been sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman who was detained by the morality police for allegedly violating the country's strict Islamic dress code. The protesters are calling for the overthrow of the ruling clerics, and they have been attacked by security forces with live ammunition, bird shot, and batons. Rights groups claim that at least 530 protesters have been killed and nearly 20,000 people have been arrested, and at least 16 others have been sentenced to death.
The death sentence imposed on Jamshid Sharmahd has further strained relations between Iran and the West, particularly Germany. The expulsion of two Iranian diplomats by Germany is a clear signal of its displeasure with Iran's actions, and it remains to be seen how Iran will respond. The situation underscores the ongoing tensions between Iran and the West, and the lack of trust and cooperation between them.