Thu, Jan 22, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Iranian doctors sentenced over US plot, lawyer says


Iran has given jail terms of six years and three years respectively to two doctors convicted of a US-backed plot to overthrow the Islamic republic, their lawyer told reporters yesterday.

“Arash Alaie was given six years in prison and Kamiar Alaie was sentenced to three years in jail,” lawyer Massoud Shafiie said of the two brothers known for their pioneering work in HIV/AIDS and in prison since June.

Shafiie said he would appeal and “ask for their release as there is no evidence proving their accusations.”

Iranian authorities “have taken their opinion on the soft toppling of the regime as confessions,” Shafie said.

Last week Iran announced it had dismantled a network that was seeking to softly overthrow the Islamic system by creating social upheaval with US financing and direction.

Four “key elements” behind the plot, including the Alaie brothers, were put on trial and jailed, officials said, without revealing the identity of the other two.

The group was part of an operation that organized visits to the US for Iranian academics and specialists where they were told that the “US is the only savior of Iran,” a senior intelligence official said on Monday.

He said dozens of other people had been involved in the network, but security let them go after it was clear that they had been “deceived.”

The Iranian judiciary recently disclosed details on a series of cases involving charges against opposition groups, including those said to have links abroad.

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