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A Total Of 68 Years Prison For Opponents Accused Of Burning Mosques

A man is seen setting a Tehran mosque on fire. Image grab from a video released by the clandestine group "Restart". October 2017.

Eleven members of Iranian opposition groups accused of attacking mosques and public property have been sentenced to jail terms of up to six years, state news agency IRNA said Monday.

Hassan Heidari, deputy prosecutor general of Khorasan Razavi province in northeast Iran, said the 11 defendants, including women, were also convicted of "propaganda against the system of the Islamic republic".

Heidari also said that a 37-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man, who were previously married and got divorced, have been arrested on charges of “setting fire” to Al-Ghadir mosque in Mashhad, blasphemy and destruction of public property. The woman has been sentenced to 14 years in jail.

Several of them were found guilty of having set fire to two mosques in the city of Masshad, IRNA said, adding that the rulings were subject to appeal.

According to Iranian authorities, the accused form part of an opposition group called "Restart" which was established by Mohammad Hosseini, a onetime game show host on state television who has gone into exile.

“Restart” has called upon people, especially the youth, to attack government owned centers, including banks, mosques, Hossainyehs and Baseejis’ barracks. (Baseejis are members of an IRGC force and mainly plainclothesmen deployed to suppress dissidents and protesters). In October, several banks in relatively affluent northern Tehran were targeted in nighttime attacks.

The deputy prosecutor also said that some of the convicted individuals had contacts with the People’s Mujahedin Khalq organization (MKO) abroad.

At least 25 people were killed in a wave of social unrest that swept towns and cities across Iran between December 28 and January 1.