The Iranian government has sentenced eight Islamic State militants to death for the attack executed on Iranian parliament last year. Revolutionary Court head Mosa Xazanfarabadi stated,
The court has made the final decision on the eight Islamist attackers on Iran’s parliament last year sentencing them to the death penalty … The sentence can be sent to Iran’s top court of appeals. The other 28 suspects of this case will put on trial later.”
The attack took place on June 7 when a group of armed militants raided the parliament headquarters while simultaneously assaulting the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini. In total, 42 people were injured and 12 people were killed. The militants infiltrated parliament dressed as women and were armed with Kalashnikov rifles, once inside they began to gun down anyone they could and later detonated a suicide vest. This all happened while parliament was in session, so the casualty count reflects the government facilities daily activities, five Islamic State members were killed in the process by security forces.
A witness to the events as they unfolded, Ebrahim Ghanimi told local media that, “I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realized people are hiding and lying down on the streets. With the help of a taxi driver, I reached a nearby alley.” While Ali Larijani, an Iranian Parliament Speaker, told press that the attack was an act of cowardice and stated, “Iran is an active and effective pillar in the fight against terrorists and they want to damage it.”
26 people have been charged in connection to the attack so far. Prosecutors say that although four of the militants were of Iranian descent, they had returned to Iran from Iraq earlier in the year around February time frame. The five militants killed were identified by the ministry of interior as “Seriyas, Fereydoun, Qayyoum, Abu Jahad, and Ramin.” according to Iranian intelligence services, the men had operated under the Islamic State banner in Raqqa, Syria as well as Mosul, Iraq; at the time, these were the caliphate’s two primary strongholds. While in no way are these men not receiving the punishment they deserve, it is worth mentioning that Iran has the second highest rate of capital punishment coming in just after China.
Feature image courtesy of Mahdi Sigari [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons