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The Iranian regime hanged seven citizens on Christmas morning and at least 12 others in the days before and after the holiday, according to Iranian dissidents monitoring the human rights situation.
Seven prisoners being held in Iran’s Abdelebad prison were hanged “at dawn on Christmas day,” according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group.
The latest round of state-sanctioned killings—which have hit an all time high in the past year—came just days after President Barack Obama praised Iran in an interview at the White House and said that it could be a “successful” member of the international community.
Obama claimed that Iran can be a “very successful regional power” if it decides to relinquish some portions of its contested nuclear weapons program, according to the interview, which was conducted with NPR. ”They’ve got a chance to get right with the world,” Obama was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, in the days leading up to Christmas, Iran “secretly hanged” another 10 prisoners who were being held in one of the regime’s most infamous and brutal prisons, according to the NCRI.
Iran also has been reportedly assisting the United States in recent days in its fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.