Iran executions up 75% as Tehran seeks to ‘instil concern’ in anti-regime protesters, rights teams say

US State Department says Iran nuclear deal 'not our focus right now'


Iran executed at least 582 people last year, a 75% increase on the previous year, according to human rights groups who say the rise reflects an effort by Tehran to “instill fear” among anti-regime protesters.

It was the highest number of executions in the Islamic republic since 2015, according to a report released Thursday by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and the France-based Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) groups.

The vast majority of the executions – at least 544 – were of people accused of murder and drug-related offenses, said the report. It added that almost 90% of the executions it recorded were not announced by Iranian authorities and some had been carried out in secret.

The two rights groups said the increase was Tehran’s way of trying to frighten protesters and prevent dissent, following a nationwide uprising sparked by the death…