Rights group condemns Iran's 'abhorrent' execution of 'Sultan of Coins'

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Rights group Amnesty International condemned Iran's execution on Wednesday of a gold trader and his accomplice as "abhorrent" and said it followed a "grossly unfair show trial".

Vahid Mazlumin, known as the "sultan of coins", and his accomplice Mohammad Ismail Qasemi, also known as Mohammad Salem, had been convicted of "spreading corruption on earth", a capital offense under the Islamic law.

Iran has executed the so-called "Sultan of Coins" and his accomplice for hoarding gold coins and other hard currency, signalling zero tolerance as it tries to shore up its currency in the face of an economic crisis.

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"With these abhorrent executions the Iranian authorities have flagrantly violated global law", said Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa research director, Philip Luther.

The currency's fall came as the United States in May withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, and in August started reimposing economic sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities.

Amid a deepening economic crisis, the Iranian authorities have carried out mass arrests of individuals whom they describe as "financially corrupt" and "saboteurs of the economy", convicted them of charges related to financial crimes and sentenced some of them to flogging, lengthy prison terms and the death penalty after grossly unfair summary trials.

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Iran executed two men accused of hoarding gold coins to manipulate the market price on Wednesday.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Iran's inflation rate will jump to over 40 percent by the end of the year and that USA sanctions will lower economic output down by 1.5 percent this year.

It is noted that during the work of these courts issued at least seven death sentences, and some meetings were broadcast on television live.

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A second phase of sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector officially started on November 5. The ruling had been upheld by the Supreme Court.

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