Iran Hangs Man Convicted Of Spying For Israel

Iran on Tuesday hanged a man convicted of spying for Israeli intelligence, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The 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.

Espionage is punishable by death under Iranian law.

According to IRNA, Siadat confessed to spying for Israel in return for $60,000 and an additional $7,000 each time he met with Israeli handlers. IRNA said he met up with Israeli intelligence agents during "foreign trade'' trips to Turkey, Thailand and the Netherlands, and that he transferred data through a digital camera, transmitters and a laptop. He was arrested in 2008 while trying to leave Iran with his wife.

The news agency reported judiciary sources as saying Siadat's attorney was present for his trial, but that could not be confirmed. There was no statement from any defense attorney on the execution. Israel had no comment about the case.

Also Tuesday, IRNA reported that another Iranian was hanged for membership in an exiled opposition group.

IRNA said Ali Saremi had been arrested several times since 1982 for membership in the group Mujahedeen-e Khalq but had continued his activities each time. He was detained in 2007 for the last time and was sentenced to death.

In a statement Tuesday, Mujahedeen-e Khalq claimed Sarami's wife, daughter and two other supporters were arrested while protesting outside Evin prison after his execution. It said Sarami, 63, had spent a total of 24 years in prison from various incarcerations under the shah and clerical rule. Though arrested in 2007, his death sentence came after mass opposition protests that were held in December 2009, the group said.

The London-based rights group Amnesty International reported in August that in addition to Sarami, six other Iranian prisoners are facing execution for links to the group.

Mujahedeen-e Khalq is a bitter opponent of Iran's ruling clerics. It was founded in the 1960s and opposed the rule of the U.S.-backed shah. After the shah's fall in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, it carried out attacks against the cleric-led government that came to power. Mujahedeen-e Khalq and its affiliates were deemed foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department in 1997.

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

NPR's Peter Kenyon contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press

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