LONDON -- The 70-year-old editor of a banned French-language Iranian newsp aper in Iran was executed by firing squad, a spokesman at Tehran's Evin prison said today.
Simon Farzami, who edited Le Journal de Tehran, was executed Tuesday night, the spokesman said in a telephone interview from London.
He was arrested last February after militants holding the U.S. embassy said they found documents they said proved he had worked for the United States. The opening of his trial was reported about four weeks ago, but no details were ever published about the charges against him.
In Tel Aviv, Jewish emigre sources said they feared Farzami's execution was a harbinger of further acts of 'persecution' against Iran's Jewish community. 'We are worried,' said Moshe Katzav, chairman of the organization of Iranian immigrants in Israel. 'Our fear is that the regime of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini will try to regain popular support by picking on the remnants of the Jewish community there.'= According to Katzav there are some 35,000 Jews in Iran. His organization represents some 150,000 Iranian Jews who had emigrated to Israel.
Farzami, a Jew, ranked among the most prominent journalists during the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's rule.
Katzav said the possible release of the U.S. hostages was likely to exacerbate current anti-government unrest in Iran, a development the Khomeini regime would attempt to counter by staging a crackdown on Jews.
'The Jews will be used as a tool to curb the opposition,' Katzav said.