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Special courts set up in Iran to deal with financial crimes have sentenced three people to death, local media reported, as the country faces renewed U.S. sanctions and public outcry against corruption.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, on September 30 said the three were sentenced after being convicted of “spreading corruption on Earth,” according to state television.

Ejehi also said that 32 other defendants recently brought to trial for alleged economic crimes were sentenced to jail terms of up to 20 years, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Last month, the judiciary set up special Islamic revolutionary courts to deal with those “disrupting and corrupting the economy,” including “official and military” people, as Iran’s leadership called for “swift and just” legal action to confront an “economic war” waged by the country’s “enemies.”

The move came as Iran’s economy plunged into a downward spiral with the national currency, the rial, hitting record lows, following the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in May.

The United States last month started reimposing economic sanctions on Iran that were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Growing public anger over high inflation, economic hardship, and widespread corruption has led to sporadic street protests in Tehran and other cities, with the demonstrators chanting antigovernment slogans.

Ejehi on September 30 was quoted as threatening anyone who forces truckers to go on strike or others who in any way disrupt transportation with “harsh punishment.”

Over the past months, truckers have occasionally stopped working to protest low wages amid the soaring costs of vehicle parts.

With reporting by AP and Reuters

Citations

[1]Iran's Supreme Leader Approves Special Corruption Courts .... https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-s-supreme-leader-approves-special-corruption-courts/29427873.html[2]Iran Sentences Three To Death Over Alleged Corruption .... https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-sentences-three-to-death-over-alleged-corruption/29517750.html