Sajjad Heydari was captured on video grinning while he carried his wife's decapitated head in one hand and a large knife in the other. The gruesome scene unfolded as he walked the streets of Ahvaz, in the southwestern province of Khuzestan in Iran.

The man has reportedly killed his 17-year-old wife Mona Heydari (pictured here) as part of an "honour killing" ritual that he participated in with his brother. The murdered victim was a mother to a three-year-old boy and was said to have been a victim of domestic violence.

Prior to her death, she had expressed her intention to divorce Sajjad. She had told her family several times but they pressured her to stay at home for the sake of her son. According to the Daily Star, she had attempted to escape her husband's violence when she fled to Turkey at one point. But she eventually returned home because she found it difficult to live in another country by herself.

Mona was reportedly back in Iran only for a few days when the murder happened. Her husband and her brother-in-law tied her hands and feet before they decapitated her. They later wrapped her body in a blanket and dumped it in one area while Sajjad walked the streets proudly showing her severed head to horrified onlookers.

The video showed him barefoot as he paraded Mona's decapitated head and held what could be the knife he used to commit the murder (see picture). The chief of the State Security Force (SSF) said the motive of the killing was "family differences." She was reportedly forced to marry Sajjad, who is her own cousin, when she was only 12 years old.

In a statement, the Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said that reports of deaths from "honour killing" have been making headlines on a weekly basis. The "catastrophic rise in honour killings in Iran" is said to be "rooted in misogyny and the patriarchal culture institutionalised in the laws and society. Although the father, brother or husband holds the knife, sickle or rifle, the murders are rooted in the medieval outlook of the ruling regime."

Sajjad and his brother have reportedly been arrested after the alleged killing. It is not yet known what punishment they are going to face.

Crime Scene
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON GETTY IMAGES/SCOTT OLSON