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Germany said on Wednesday that it is expelling two Iranian diplomats over a death sentence imposed in Iran against one of its citizens, The Associated Press reported.

The decision came after authorities in Iran announced on Tuesday that Jamshid Sharmahd, a 67-year-old Iranian-German national and US resident, was sentenced to death after being convicted of “terrorist activities”.

Iran claims Sharmahd is the leader of the armed wing of a group advocating the restoration of the monarchy that was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, while members of his family say he was merely the spokesman for the opposition group and deny he was involved in any attacks.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Wednesday she summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Berlin and informed him that “we will not accept this massive breach of a German citizen’s rights.”

“As a consequence the German government has declared two members of the Iranian embassy unwanted persons and asked them to leave Germany at short notice,” she said, according to AP. “We demand that Iran revokes the death sentence against Jamshid Sharmahd and allows him to have an appeal that is fair and in line with the rule of law.”

The official website of Iran’s judiciary said Sharmahd was convicted of plotting terrorist activities. He was tried in a Revolutionary Court, where proceedings are held behind closed doors and where rights groups say defendants are unable to choose their lawyers or see the evidence against them.

Iran regularly claims to have captured individuals who are accused of spying for Israel, the US, Britain and other countries.

On Tuesday, Austria announced that one of its citizens had been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail in Iran for spying. In response, Vienna summoned the Iranian ambassador.

The latest sentences come as Iran continues to deal with mass anti-government protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last September, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

Iran has launched a wide-scale crackdown on the protesters, arresting tens of thousands of people. Hundreds have been killed as authorities violently suppressed demonstrations.

The Islamic Republic has so far executed four men accused of violence linked to the protests, and activists say at least 16 others have been sentenced to death.