Iran on Saturday executed a businessman sentenced to death by a fast-track court set up to fight economic crimes, state television reported, following an outcry against profiteering and corruption that has seen dozens of people jailed.
The new Islamic revolutionary courts – whose rulings cannot be appealed, except in the case of death sentences – were set up in August after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for “swift and just” action to confront an "economic war" by foreign enemies after the United States re-imposed sanctions.
Hamidreza Baqeri-Dermani had been convicted of “spreading corruption on earth”, a capital offence under Irans Islamic laws, for offences including bribery and fraud, the television said.
His death sentence was upheld by the supreme court this month.
News of Dermani's execution was presented in dramatic fashion on state television on Saturday, with an action-movie soundtrack and full documentary about his crimes.
Iran executed two traders for economic crimes in November in an effort to stem financial misconduct in the face of an economic crisis and US sanctions, re-imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 international accord over Irans nuclear program.
The special courts have jailed dozens of businessmen and traders for up to 20 years.
The rial currency's weakness earlier this year disrupted foreign trade and helped boost annual inflation fourfold to nearly 40 percent in November.
The weak currency has sparked sporadic street protests since late last year.
Iranian economists have said the campaign against economic crime, combined with an order from Ayatollah Khamenei this month to strengthen the rial, have made many traders more wary of bidding the currency lower.
Last Update: Saturday, 22 December 2018 KSA 10:15 – GMT 07:15