Iran executes opposition figure Ruhollah Zam

Tehran (AFP) –


Iran on Saturday executed Ruhollah Zam, a former opposition figure who had lived in exile in France and was implicated in anti-government protests, state television said.

The broadcaster said the "counter-revolutionary" Zam was hanged in the morning after the supreme court upheld his sentence due to "the severity of the crimes" committed against the Islamic republic.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced the arrest of Zam in October last year, claiming he was "directed by France's intelligence service."

State television said he was "under the protection of several countries' intelligence services."

Zam was charged with "corruption on earth" -- one of the most serious offences under Iranian law -- and sentenced to death in June.

The official IRNA news agency said he was also convicted of espionage for France and an unnamed country in the region, cooperating with the "hostile government of America", acting against "the country's security," insulting the "sanctity of Islam" and instigating violence during the 2017 protests.

At least 25 people were killed during the unrest in December 2017 and January 2018 that was sparked by economic hardship.

Zam, who reportedly lived in Paris, ran a channel on the Telegram messaging app called Amadnews.

Telegram shut down the channel after Iran demanded it remove the account for inciting an "armed uprising".