The execution a man and a teenager, Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani (37) and Arash Rahmanipour (19) who were detained during the summer protests has sent a chilling warning to the government’s political opponents. The state prosecutor said they had been found guilty of being ‘enemies of God’ after confessing membership of a pro monarchist group intent on committing acts of violence. The executions have been widely condemned. A spokesman for the human rights groups Amnesty International called them ‘shocking’, and said ‘these men have been unfairly convicted…and unjustly killed.’ The agency is concerned about nine others facing similar charges, also on death row. Many observers believe the confessions are extracted during torture. With reports in the press that opposition leaders are now making conciliatory gestures towards the government, it would seem the message of the executions is having an impact. Whether this method of seeing off challenges will work in the long-term is another matter.