The authorities in the Iranian city of Shiraz have handed 74 people prison sentences ranging from one to eight years. The so-called crime of those sentenced was to gather for an unauthorized event at the tomb of Cyrus the Great, an ancient Persian king. The event happened in the last week of October and led to an outcry among hardliners. One hardliner, Ayatollah Hamedani, called the event an “anti-revolutionary” gesture that needs to be confronted.
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to have an extremely limited tolerance toward any kind of expressions of political or social viewpoints that are not pre-approved by the authorities. The Iranian state is particularly very fearful of any expressions of nationalist sentiments that is considered directly challenging the political status quo.