Iran executes 70 charged with plot to kill Ayatollah

About 70 Iranian officers have been executed in connection with a plot allegedly masterminded by former Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Ghotbzadeh, now on trial before a military tribunal, Iranian sources said.

Mr. Ghotbzadeh, accused of leading the plot to kill the revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and topple his regime, went on trial Saturday. On Monday Mr. Ghotbzadeh denied plotting an assassination attempt, but admitted he wanted to oust powerful mullahs from the government. The charges brought against him are reportedly the most serious an Iranian official has faced since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Ghotbzadeh is conducting his own defense, because Iran's Islamic laws do not allow defendants to have defense lawyers.

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