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Iran Sentences Three To Death Over Vote Unrest

Iranian opposition supporters protest in Tehran in July.
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- An Iranian court has sentenced three people to death over unrest that erupted after Iran's disputed election in June and links to a pro-monarchist group, the ISNA news agency has reported.

ISNA, citing a spokesman for a Tehran provincial court, did not identify those who received the death penalty, giving only their initials.

"The execution sentences were handed down because of involvement in postelection developments and affiliation with Iranian monarchical associations and the PMOI," the official said.

"These sentences are not final and can be appealed in a higher court," he said.

The People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization) is an exiled opposition organization, seen by both Iran and the United States as a terrorist group.

Huge demonstrations erupted after the June 12 presidential poll, which the opposition says was rigged in favor of hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

The authorities have rejected opposition charges of vote rigging. They have portrayed the protests as a foreign-backed bid to undermine the Islamic republic.

The June election plunged Iran into its deepest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when the U.S.-backed shah was toppled.