Iran Court Upholds Iranian’s Death Sentence for Killing U.S. Woman

FILE PHOTO: Iranian soldiers stand guard under a portrait of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei outside the entance to the Tehran courthouse. Reuters

DUBAI, May 18 (Reuters) – Iran’s supreme court has upheld the death sentence of an Iranian man for killing an American woman seven years ago to steal her car, the state-run daily Iran reported on Saturday.

The mother of three, identified as Theresa Virginia, had been reported missing in 2012 when she had travelled to Iran to visit her Iranian husband’s family, the newspaper said.

Police were able to arrest two suspects, aged 20 and 21 at the time, using closed circuit television recordings showing them at a petrol station with her car. One of the men confessed to have strangled the woman and taken her car and cash, while the other admitted helping, the report added.

The number of executions in Iran were halved in 2018 through changes to anti-narcotics laws, but the country was still second in the world after China with at least 253 convicts put to death, according to rights group Amnesty International.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom. Editing by Jane Merriman