Iran sentences Sufi to death over killing of 3 policemen

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has sentenced to death a supporter of a Sufi leader who rammed a bus into a group of policemen last month, killing three, before being arrested.

The incident in Tehran took place during February clashes between the Sufi leader’s followers and police.

Monday’s report by the official IRNA news agency says the convicted man, Mohammad Salas, can appeal his verdict with 20 days. Salas testified during hearings last week that he had no intention of killing the policemen but was trying to flee the clashes.

Sufi leader Nourali Tabandeh’s supporters had rallied near his residence fearing his possible arrest, despite police assurances they had no such intention.

Iran’s clerically overseen government frowns on Sufism, the mystical strain of Islam. Many conservatives view it as a deviation from the faith.

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