Iran has executed a man over the murder of two clerics and the wounding of another in a knife attack carried out in April at the Imam Reza shrine in the city of Masshad, which is the resting place of the eighth Shia imam, Ali Al-Redha.
The foreign assailant, said to be of Uzbek descent named Abdolatif Moradi, received the death sentence by hanging at the Vakilaba prison yesterday after being charged with Moharebeh (waging war against God). Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi described it as a "terrorist attack".
The attack came days after two Sunni clerics were shot dead outside a seminary in the northern town of Gonbad-e Kavus.
Moradi, who was 21 at the time of the attack stabbed the three clergymen at the shrine on 5 April during the month of Ramadan. He reportedly entered the country illegally via Pakistan.
One of the clerics, Mohammad Aslani, died at the scene after being repeatedly stabbed and the second victim, Mohammad Sagedh Daraei, succumbed to his injuries despite undergoing surgery, while the third had been left disabled after the attack.
According to Iran's Tasnim News Agency, the three who were friends had been active volunteering in social and cultural activities in the city for several years.
According to a report by Amnesty International, China and Iran are leading the way with a 20 per cent increase in executions last year. In Iran's case they have increased "five-fold rise from 2020".