- The Washington Times
Thursday, September 24, 2020

The U.S. is gearing up to impose sanctions on Iran for the execution of Navid Afkari, a 27-year-old Iranian wrestler who allegedly murdered a man.

Iranian state TV earlier this month reported that Iran had carried out the execution despite pleas from the U.S. to spare Afkari’s life, as well as a massive social media campaign that showed the man as a victim who was targeted by Iran for participating in anti-government protests.

Iranian authorities accused Afkari of stabbing a water supply company employee in the southern city of Shiraz amid the 2018 demonstrations.

U.S. special representative for Iran Elliott Abrams told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday that the Trump administration will soon impose sanctions on the judge who presided over Mr. Afkari’s case.

“Later today the United States will announce sanctions on several Iranian officials and entities including the judge who sentenced Navid Afkari to death,” Mr. Abrams said.

While Mr. Abrams did not mention the judge by name, chief justice of Fars province, Kazem Mousavi, was quoted after the execution as saying: “The retaliation sentence against Navid Afkari, the killer of Hassan Torkaman, was carried out this morning in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.”

• This story is based in part on wire reports.

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