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Outspoken Iranian Academic Sentenced To Prison, Banned From Political Activities

Sadegh Zibakalam, professor of political science and an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic establishment. Undated.

An outspoken pro-reformist Iranian political analyst says he has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of “spreading propaganda” against the Iranian establishment.

In a short video posted online, Sadegh Zibakalam, a professor of political science at the University of Tehran, said he planned to appeal the sentence.

Zibakalam said that, in addition to the jail term, he was given a two-year ban from all political and social media activity as well as publishing in print media.

Zibakalam is known for his criticism of Iran's state policies and sensitive issues, such as Tehran’s hostility toward Israel and the nuclear program.

The judiciary-affiliated Mizan Online news agency reported on March 12 that Zibakalam was accused of giving interviews to foreign media deemed hostile by the authorities and "attempting to call into question the Islamic republic.”

Zibakalam told the news site on March 13 that he had been convicted after giving an interview to Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle about the recent anti-establishment street protests that rocked Iran.

Based on reporting by AFP and