Iran hangs Arab separatists convicted of bombings

Iranian authorities on Wednesday hung four Arab separatists convicted of bombings that killed dozens of civilians in southern Iran, media in Tehran reported. Both the ISNA and Fars semi-official news agencies reported that the four Iranians were hung in a prison in Ahvaz, 850 kilometers southwest of the capital Tehran. The convicts were part of a larger group of Arabs arrested in 2005 and 2006 in the oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province, close to the border with Iraq. They were charged in connection with the January 2006, June and October 2005 bombings that had killed 23 people and wounded dozens more in the provincial capital of Ahvaz. Earlier in January, the New York-based Human Rights Watch had urged Iran to rescind the death sentences of the men and retry the defendants before courts that meet international fair trial standards.