Germany has declared two Iranian embassy employees personae non gratae and ordered them to leave the country in response to Iran sentencing a German citizen to death, a foreign ministry statement said on Wednesday.
Germany summoned Iran’s chargé d’affaires, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement, adding: “He has been informed that we do not accept the massive violation of the rights of a German citizen.”
“We call on Iran to overturn Jamshid Sharmahd’s death sentence and provide him with a fair appeal process based on the rule of law,” she added.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the sentence as unacceptable and called on Iran to overturn the sentence.
“The Iranian regime is fighting its own people in every possible way and has no respect for human rights,” Scholz wrote on Twitter.
Sharmahd, a German-Iranian national, was sentenced to death on charges of “corruption on earth”, the justice news agency Mizan reported on Tuesday.
The verdict can be appealed.
A State Department spokesman said Wednesday that the consulate was working to provide additional support to the dual national and was in contact with the man’s relatives.
“We will continue to provide consular support to the extent possible. I have already explained how difficult it is in Iran,” the spokesman said.
“It is a first-instance verdict and we will monitor the development of the situation,” he added.
Iran accuses Sharmahd, who also resides in the US, of leading a pro-monarchist group accused of a deadly 2008 bombing and planning more attacks in the country.
Tensions between Iran and the West have intensified in recent months, pushing already stalled efforts to revive talks on Tehran’s nuclear program further into the background.
Germany has been a vocal supporter of European Union sanctions against Iran for its crackdown on protesters in the country. The bloc plans to expand the measures to include Iranian actors involved in Russia’s war in Ukraine.