Iran hands down 5- to 10-year prison terms to 4 reporters

An Iranian court has sentenced four pro-reform journalists to prison terms ranging from five to 10 years after convicting them on charges of acting against national security.

State TV's website said on Tuesday that the verdicts can be appealed.

The four were arrested in November as part of ongoing crackdown by hard-liners, a move that was criticized by moderate President Hassan Rouhani. Several Iranian activists and cultural figures were also arrested in the run-up to February elections for parliament and the all-cleric Assembly of Experts.

The four sentenced have worked for various newspapers, including pro-reform Farhikhtegan daily.

They include Davood Asadi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ehsun Mazandarani was given a seven-year term while Afarin Chitsaz and Ehsan Safarzaiee each have to spend five years behind bars.