Iran Hangs Man Accused Of Spying For Israel

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An Iranian convicted of spying for Israel was hanged in Tehran early Tuesday. Ali Akbar Siadat was accused of passing classified information about Iran's military to Israeli agents during trips abroad.


Iran has executed a man convicted of spying for Israel and a second man for alleged ties to an exiled opposition group.

NPR's Peter Kenyon is covering this story from his post in Istanbul.

PETER KENYON: The official IRNA news agency quoted judiciary sources as saying Ali Akbar Siadat had been hanged at Tehran's Evin prison. He was convicted of passing what was described as sensitive military information to Israel. IRNA said the information included intelligence regarding Iranian fighter jets and missile programs.

Siadat was said to have met with Israeli agents in Turkey, the Netherlands and Thailand over a number of years, receiving tens of thousands of dollars in payment. He was arrested in 2008 while trying to leave Iran with his wife. Iranian judiciary sources were quoted as saying Siadat's attorney was present for his trial, but that could not be confirmed and there was no statement from any defense attorney on the execution.

Israel had no comment on the case, which was not the first involving an Iranian accused of spying for Israel. Two years ago, an electronics worker, Ali Ashteri(ph) was hanged after being convicted of passing information to Israel. Also hanged today was Ali Sarami convicted of supporting the outlawed opposition group, Mujahedeen-e Khalq.

The group issued a statement saying that Sarami had spent more than two decades of his life behind bars, first under the shah's reign and then after the Islamic Revolution. The statement said Sarami had visited his son in a Mujahedeen camp in Iraq in 2007. Amnesty International said earlier this year that another half dozen Iranians face execution for ties to the Mujahedeen-e Khalq.

Separately, in the northern Iranian city of Tabriz, family members of two German journalists were permitted a holiday visit. The pair was arrested in October after entering Iran on tourist visas, and then attempting to interview the family of a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Peter Kenyon, NPR News.

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