Iranian-German man sentenced to death on ‘terrorism’ charges

Iran says Jamshid Sharmahd masterminded a bombing that killed 14 people, something his family denies.

Jamshid Sharmahd Iran
Jamshid Sharmahd is accused by the government of being a leader of a US-based group behind a deadly bombing in Iran in 2008 [File: Koosha Mahsid Falahi/Mizan News Agency via AFP]

Tehran, Iran – Iranian-German citizen Jamshid Sharmahd has been sentenced to death by Iran’s judiciary on terrorism-related charges.

The 67-year-old, who also has United States residency and was arrested in 2020, was convicted of “corruption on Earth” for heading a pro-monarchist group accused of a deadly 2008 bombing and planning other attacks across the country, Mizan, the official news agency of the Iranian judiciary, reported on Tuesday.

Sharmahd is accused of being the leader of the US-based group Tondar (which means “thunder” in Farsi), also known as the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, which says it seeks to restore the monarchy that was overthrown after the last shah fled Iran shortly before the 1979 revolution.

The Los Angeles-based group runs radio and television stations abroad that support Iranian opposition groups.

Jamshid Sharmahd has been sentenced to death, the Iranian judiciary’s news agency reported on February 21, 2023  [File: Koosha Mahshid Falahi/Mizan News Agency]

The Iranian judiciary released several clips of Sharmahd speaking in 2010 against the Iranian establishment and also video of him appearing to confess to attacks.

His main charge is masterminding a 2008 bombing at a mosque in the southern city of Shiraz, which killed 14 people and wounded hundreds. He was also convicted of being in contact with US and Israeli officials and agents.

Mizan said he wrote confidential letters to former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The judiciary said Sharmahd wanted to carry out 23 “terrorist acts” and succeeded in executing five.

It said they include other bombings, arson, assassinations and leaking classified information about the missile programme of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Tondar was also accused by the judiciary of plans to target an oil pipeline and a book fair in addition to deploying “chemical weapons” in parliament and organising heists from banks and currency exchanges.

The judiciary said Sharmahd’s sentence may be appealed to the Supreme Court.

It is unclear how or where Sharmahd was apprehended. His daughter, Gazelle Sharmahd, has previously said he was last heard from in Dubai shortly before appearing in an Iranian state video showing he was in custody.

Sharmah’s family hase maintained his innocence. His daughter was one of four family members of Europeans imprisoned in Iran who signed an open letter in September accusing the European Union of ignoring the plight of their loved ones.

Germany on Tuesday condemned the announcement.

“The death sentence for Jamshid Sharmahd is absolutely unacceptable,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement, promising a “strong reaction” to the court’s decision.

“Not only is the death penalty cruel, inhuman and degrading, but Jamshid Sharmahd has never had anything approaching a fair trial,” Baerbock said.

Source: Al Jazeera