Iran sentences 8 to death over Islamic State attacks

Iran sentences 8 to death over Islamic State attacks
The attacks last June left 18 people dead and marked the first time Iran was targeted at home by the Islamic State group.
2 min read
The attacks last June killed 18 people [Getty]
An Iranian court sentenced eight people to death over attacks claimed by the Islamic State group last year in what were the group's first deadly operation in the country.

Mousa Ghazanfarabadi, the head of the Tehran Revolutionary Courts, told state TV on Sunday that they were found guilty of aiding the five militants who attacked parliament and a shrine to Iran's revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The attacks last June killed 18 people and wounded more than 50. Security forces killed all the attackers.

The trials began last month and Sunday's sentence, which was handed down by the Revolutionary Court, came following a seven-session hearing. Those convicted have 20 days to appeal the verdict in Iran's Supreme Court.

Ghazanfarabadi says 18 other people still face trial. 

The five gunmen and suicide bombers who were killed during the attacks last June had fought in Syria and Iraq, where IS once held large swathes of territory.

Iran is a major player in the now seven-year-long war in Syria, backing forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Various Iran-backed Shia militias also operate in Iraq and have been accused of human rights violations in Sunni areas during its fight against the Islamic State group in the country. 

Most of Iran's population are Shia, and therefore considered heretics by IS, who have increasingly called for attacks on the country.

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