Iran Executes Swedish-Iranian Man Over Alleged Terror Attack

According to state media, Iran has executed a man who was allegedly responsible for an attack that murdered dozens of people at a military parade in the southern province of Khuzistan in 2018.

Habib Farajollah Chaab was sentenced to death for being “corrupt on Earth”, a capital offense under Iran’s severe Islamic laws.

Iran tried Chaab in 2022 on charges of leading the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, which seeks a separate state in the oil-rich Khuzistan province in south-western Iran, and of devising and executing “numerous bombings and terrorist operations”.

Iran stated in 2020 that its security forces had detained Chaab, a dual citizen of Iran and Sweden, in neighboring Turkey and brought him to Tehran without elaborating.

In September 2018, militants posing as soldiers opened fire on an annual military procession in the oil-rich capital of Khuzistan, Ahvaz. There were at least 25 fatalities and 70 injuries, including a four-year-old child. Iran then asserted that Saudi Arabian and Israeli intelligence services supported an alleged separatist group attack.

Tobias Billstrom, the Swedish foreign minister, reacted with “dismay” to the execution of Chaab, stating that his government had appealed with Iran not to carry it out. “The death penalty is an inhuman and irreversible punishment and Sweden, together with the rest of the EU, condemns its application under all circumstances,” he said.

Sweden had expressed concern over Chaab’s case, and relations with Iran had deteriorated after a Swedish court sentenced a former Iranian official to life in prison for involvement in the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners in the Islamic Republic.

Iran has had contentious relations with its Arabs, Kurds, Azeris, and Baluch minorities, accusing them of aligning with neighboring nations. Arabs and other minorities have long alleged that they are subject to discrimination in Iran, a claim that Tehran denies.