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Iran Executes Retired Defense Employee Charged With 'Spying For CIA'


Gholamhossein Esmaili, Iran's judiciary spokesman. FILE PHOTO

Iran says it has executed a retired Ministry of Defense employee on charges of "spying for the CIA," the spokesman for Iran's Judiciary Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday July 14.

The spokesman identified the man by his last name as Asgari, adding that he had retired from the ministry in 2016, where he worked in the aerospace department.

He said Asgari was recruited by the CIA and that he had sold information about Iran's missile development program to the United States Central Intelligence Agency. It is not clear from this statement when the alleged espionage took place.

The spokesman said that Asgari was executed last week.

Meanwhile, Iran also announced on Tuesday that an Iranian woman named Leila Tajik has received a 15-year jail sentence for espionage. Ms. Tajik and her husband Haji Zavar were arrested for "spying for a belligerent country" in September 2017.

The Iranian Human Rights Organization reported in June 2019 that Haji Zavar, also a Ministry of Defense employee, was executed in July 2019. The report added that he was kept in a "death chamber" before his execution and "was badly tortured."

Iranian security organizations have claimed arresting several individuals on charges of espionage. In one of the latest cases, in July 2019 the Ministry of Intelligence said its officers had arrested 17 "spies" who were operating in Iran's military organizations.” U.S. President Donald Trump at the time called the report "totally fabricated."

Meanwhile, Esmaili said that the death verdict of Musavi Majd, a man charged with spying on IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani has been confirmed and will be carried out.

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