Iran says it has executed Iranian agent linked to CIA

Iran has executed a former defence ministry employee who sold information to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the Islamic Republic’s judiciary said on Tuesday.

Reza Asgari had linked up with the CIA during his last years in the ministry and sold the agency information about Iran’s missile programme, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said, quoted by its Mizan website.

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He retired from the ministry four years ago. Esmaili said Asgari was executed last week.

Separately, Esmaili said a death sentence for Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, an Iranian accused of spying for U.S. and Israeli intelligence, is among those still to be carried out.

Last month, the judiciary said Mousavi-Majd, who was arrested in 2018, had spied on former Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani, adding however that the case was not connected to Soleimani’s killing earlier this year.

On Jan. 3, a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force. Washington had accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iran-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.

Last year, Iran announced it had captured 17 spies it said were working for the CIA.

The judiciary also said on Tuesday it had executed two men responsible for a bombing at a military parade in northwestern Iran in 2010, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Twelve people were killed and more than 70 injured in the attack in the city of Mahabad, a predominantly Kurdish area, and officials at the time blamed “anti-revolutionary” militants back by foreign states.

The judiciary spokesman further said the supreme court had upheld death sentences for three men convicted of carrying out violent acts such as burning buses and banks during anti-government protests last November.

Scores of Twitter users used the Farsi-language hashtag “don’t execute” to protest at the sentences for the three men. (Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh Editing by Mark Heinrich)