Italy urged not to extradite Iranian activist

Special to

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

The son of Iran’s last shah has urged Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to intervene to help an Iranian activist jailed in Italy, saying he risks execution if he is extradited.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Mehdi Khosravi was arrested in northern Italy on August 6, with police saying they had carried out an international arrest warrant issued by Teheran, which aimed to have him extradited “for the crime of corruption.”

In a letter addressed to Renzi and posted on social media on August 9, Reza Pahlavi said, “Any attempt to force Mr. Khosravi’s return to Iran will lead to his incarceration, torture, and possible conviction and execution as a political and human rights opponent of the regime.”

Pahlavi said Khosravi had been living in Britain as a political refugee since fleeing the Iran in the wake of protests surrounding the 2009 presidential election.

Pahlavi is the son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was deposed during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.