Iranian court approves death for Arab separatists

Iran's Supreme Court has confirmed death sentences for five Iranian Arab separatists convicted for bombings near the Iraqi border, state-run Iranian television reported Saturday. "The supreme court sentenced five people to death on charges of involvement in explosions in Ahvaz," the report said. It did not elaborate and calls to judiciary officials were not returned late Saturday. The five men were originally indicted for the bombings of January this year, June and October 2005 in Ahvaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan, which borders Iraq in southwest Iran. The three blasts, which killed 23 people and wounded dozens more, appear to have been linked to unrest among Arab Iranians, who amount to less than 3 percent of the national population and live mostly in Khuzestan.