The US embassy on Thursday called on Iran not to proceed with the execution, believed to be “immediate”, of three men sentenced to death for taking part in the protests that broke out in the Islamic Republic last September.

“We join our voices with the Iranian people and the international community in calling on Iran not to proceed with these executions,” said Deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel, echoing an Amnesty International statement released last week.

Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhasemi and Said Yagoubi were arrested in November 2022 following protests in the city of Isfahan (central Iran). They were sentenced to death in January.

Majid Kazemi’s case has caused particular concern in Australia, where his relatives live.

“Executing these men after trials that were generally considered a sham would be an affront to human rights and dignity in Iran,” the US State Department spokesman told reporters, adding that Tehran appeared to have “learned nothing” from the mass mobilizations.

Last year, Iranian authorities executed four protesters, sparking an international outcry.

Anti-regime activists accuse the Iranian authorities of using the death penalty as a means of intimidating the population, following the mass protests that erupted in September 2022 triggered by the death in custody of Mahsha Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the strict dress code imposed on women.

According to NGOs, 2022 saw the most executions in Iran since 2015, and the pace has picked up even more this year. Iran Human Rights (IHR), a Norway-based organization, counts at least 223 executions by 2023.