Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Morteza Soltani


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: August 15, 1980
Location of Killing: Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Unspecified execution method
Charges: Plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Morteza Soltani and two others convicted of participation in an unrealized coup d’etat plan known as Noje was reported by the correspondent of the Jomhuri Eslami daily in Isfahan (August 18, 1980).

In his 07/19/1980 indictment (published in the Enqelab Eslami and Jomhuri Eslami dailies, July 20, 1980), the public prosecutor provided the following “necessary explanation” about some other participants of this coup d’etat that was never put to practice: “This conspiracy is not a single incident and these conspirators cannot be considered ordinary convicts. These are criminals who have undermined the newly-found truth, honor, and dignity of a liberated umma [community of Muslim people]. Considering that and by consulting the holly verses of the Koran regarding the punishment of the ‘rebel’ against the Islamic sovereign, it is imperative that the convicts receive their punishment according to the Shari’a law.”

According to previous reports and communiqués (Jomhuri Eslami daily, July 20 and 31, 1980), the network involved in the planning of the coup d’etat consisted of both military and civilian members.

Arrest and detention

No information is available on the circumstances of Mr. Soltani’s arrest and detention.


Based on the report, the Second Special Branch of the Army’s Office of Prosecution held session in Isfahan on Thursday evening, 08/14/80, to try seven civilians allegedly involved in planning the above-mentioned coup d’etat. The reading of the indictment by the Army’s public prosecutor was preceded by the recitation of a few lines from the Holy Koran. The trial lasted 5 hours.


According to this report, the defendants were collectively accused of plotting a potential coup d’etat. Although the report does not provide any specific information on this un-launched coup d’etat plot, a previous communiqué of the Army’s Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal (Jomhuri Eslami daily, July 20, 1980) indicates that the coup d'etat was intended to establish an "American social democratic" regime and to organize a referendum so that people could decide on the nature of the political regime.

Evidence of guilt

The report does not provide any information on the evidence presented against the defendant.


No information on the accused’s defense is available.


The Second Special Branch of the Army’s Office of Prosecution in Isfahan sentenced Mr. Soltani to death. The sentence was carried immediately on the night of the trial.

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