Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Iran executes spy it found guilty of working for Israel

Iran yesterday hanged a man accused of spying on the country's military apparatus for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

The Iranian judiciary announced through the official IRNA news agency that Ali Akbar Siadati had been executed at Tehran's Evin Prison after being found guilty of passing on information, including details of the missile programme of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

According to an official list of charges, which included accusations of “spreading corruption on earth” and “supporting the Zionist regime”, Mr Siadati was repeatedly paid up to $7,000 (currently £4,555) a time for meetings with Israeli agents abroad between 2004 and his arrest in 2008.

IRNA claimed he had also confessed to being paid an initial $60,000 to begin a career in espionage during which he transferred data to the agents on “foreign trade” trips to Turkey, Thailand and the Netherlands with a digital camera, transmitters and a laptop.

The classified information was said to have included details of military manoeuvres, bases, operational military jet fighters, air crashes and missiles.

Earlier this week Iran's judiciary announced that a spy for Israel would be executed soon after confirmation by an appeals court of his death sentence.

That statement said that the defendant's lawyer had been present at the trial.

Mr Siadati, who was named by opposition Iranian websites earlier this year as one of 192 political prisoners held by the authorities, is the first known Iranian to be executed on charges of spying for Israel since November 2008.

A second man was hanged in Iran yesterday for supporting an exiled opposition group.

Ali Saremi, who has been repeatedly convicted since the 1970s for support of Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a group which opposed both the US-backed Shah and the current Iranian cleric-led regime which replaced him in the Islamic revolution of 1979.

The regime has repeatedly accused the exiled MEK — also known as PMOI or the People's Mujahedin of Iran — of being behind militant attacks against it from bases in Iraq and Europe.

Last August, Amnesty Intentional said that Mr Saremi (62) had visited a son in MEK's Camp Ashraf in Iraq and that he had spent a total of 23 years in prison both before and after the 1979 revolution.

Amnesty has said that six other people are currently in Iranian prisons facing death sentences for alleged MEK links.

Meanwhile, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a live television broadcast that western powers' “hostile” policies could damage the chances of fresh talks on the nuclear programme planned in Istanbul this week.

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