Iran 'sham' trial of California resident sparks allegations that world powers have abandoned him

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Jamshid Sharmahd, a German Iranian dissident and long-term legal resident of California who was abducted by Iran’s regime in Dubai in 2020, went on trial Sunday and could face the death penalty, all over what critics are calling false links to a deadly bombing at a mosque in 2008.

Political prisoners routinely face sham legal proceedings and coerced confessions in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  

The German and European governments are facing intense criticism for prioritizing a nuclear deal with Tehran over securing the release of the 66-year-old Sharmahd, who has lived in the U.S. since 2003 and campaigned against the Islamist tyranny.

Gazelle Sharmahd, Jamshid’s daughter, wrote to Fox News Digital via email from California, saying, “This is not a court or a trial at all, this is a propaganda show they have been preparing for the last 18 months. It is very disturbing that the free world can stand by and do little to help Jimmy [Jamshid] and so many others who are going through this.” 

She added, “The Iranians are fabricating charges and scapegoating an innocent man to make an example of him in order to shock the entire opposition, no matter which part of the opposition, but all people who work for a free Iran or hold points of view different from the Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei].

“Jimmy has not had access to his own lawyer in Iran or to his legal team in the U.S. This is a violation of his fundamental rights. How can you try someone without allowing them to review the evidence against them? Only savage people do this, not a civilized society,” Gazelle wrote.

Jamshid Sharmahd in an undated photo.

Jamshid Sharmahd in an undated photo.
(Gazelle Sharmahd)

Jamshid is the spokesperson for the Los Angeles-based Kingdom Assembly of Iran exile opposition group. Iran’s regime has alleged, without providing any evidence, that Sharmahd was complicit in a 2008 bombing of the Hosseynieh Seyed al-Shohada Mosque in the city of Shiraz. The bombing resulted in the deaths of 14 people, and 215 others were injured.

Attorney Jason I. Poblete, who is president of Global Liberty Alliance and is representing the Sharmahd family, told Fox News Digital: “The German and American governments have a duty to secure Mr. Sharmahd’s unconditional release from Iran; they are not doing nearly enough. If the U.S.-Iran envoy, Robert Malley, cared more about helping Americans rather than inking a deal Iran is already breaking, Jimmy and other hostages would be home today.” 

Poblete was referencing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the nuclear deal, which Iran’s regime has breached. The U.S., Germany and other world powers have been seeking in Vienna to trade sanctions relief for Iran’s regime in exchange for a renewed agreement they hoped would impose temporary restrictions on Tehran’s capability to build nuclear weapons.

Gazelle asked, “America and Germany, where are you? You go to Vienna to fancy hotels [for nuclear talks] while my dad is paraded in this made for a television show or kangaroo trial. Where is your humanity? The so-called international community: Where is this compassion for your fellow human being? If Iran wants to be treated as an equal among the nations, it has to earn it. The supreme leader is making a mockery of you all.” 

Neither the German Foreign Ministry nor the U.S. State Department immediately responded to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Jamshid Sharmahd's daughter said Iran blocked him from access to his legal team.

Jamshid Sharmahd’s daughter said Iran blocked him from access to his legal team.
(Gazelle Sharmahd)

Gazelle Sharmahd said, “This is supposed to be a public event, but it’s all staged.”

Masih Alinejad, a Voice of America journalist and a women’s rights campaigner, tweeted, “His name is #JamshidSharmahd. This German-Iranian was kidnapped from Dubai by the Islamic Republic of Iran for being critical of the regime. He faces an unfair trial today. Meanwhile, EU & Germany don’t want to raise his case because ‘the nuclear deal with Iran is more important.’”

The Iranian government sought to abduct Alinejad in Brooklyn, the FBI said in 2021, because of her opposition to the clerical regime in Tehran.

IRANIAN-BORN JOURNALIST TARGETED IN KIDNAP PLOT SAYS TEHRAN CANNOT ‘BREAK ME’

Sharmahd said, “My dad was almost assassinated by the regime on U.S. soil, right here in California. Now he is kidnapped in the UAE; the UAE is not safe and they have not helped either. Repeated overtures to the UAE in D.C. and their high-priced lobbyists have been ignored. What do they have to hide, the UAE? The Iranians and the WGAD [the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention body of independent human rights experts] have been more responsive to our American legal team than the UAE, Germany and the U.S.”

Fox News Digital previously reported that agents of the Islamic Republic sought to assassinate her father in California in 2009 because of his opposition activities, including his radio talk show.

CALIFORNIA MAN IMPRISONED IN IRAN IS BLOCKED FROM LEGAL COUNSEL AS HEALTH WORSENS, DAUGHTER SAYS

The 2009 assassination plot garnered widespread media attention and resulted in the conviction of Mohammad Sadeghnia, who arranged the planned murder. 

Sharmahd gave birth to a girl on Dec. 31, 2020. She said the situation has been “killing us” because her father was “not going to see her.” The baby, Jamshid’s first grandchild, is named Kiana (“elements of nature,” i.e. earth, wind, fire, etc., in Persian). 

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She added, “We still do not know how he is, we just saw these pictures that were allowed to be circulated by the press. I can see the sheer terror in my dad’s face, even hidden behind the mask and the prisoner uniform. They could not hide the terror that is evident in his eyes. 

“555 days of isolation, torture and forced confessions, yet he is still in shock when they present this garbage of a show trial to him. How can anyone endure this amount of physical and psychological pressure for such a long time?” she said.

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