FILE PHOTO: U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S./REUTERS/Tom Brenner/

 – The U.S. State Department denounced Iran on Monday for hanging a man in public, saying the Islamic Republic’s use of harsh sentencing and public execution is meant to intimidate people protesting against the ruling theocracy.

“We denounce this draconian treatment in the strongest terms. These harsh sentences and now the first public execution…are meant to intimidate Iran‘s people. They’re meant to suppress dissent,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at a briefing.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Katharine Jackson)

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