Alleged spy for Israel executed in Iran

November 22nd, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Nov 22 (DPA) An Iranian businessman charged with spying for Israel has been executed in Iran, media report said Saturday.Ali Ashtari was hanged Monday after he confessed to spying for Iran’s archenemy, a spokesman for the Iranian intelligence service said.

Ashtari was sentenced to death in June by a revolutionary court for spying for the “Zionist regime.” The verdict was later confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Espionage convictions in Iran usually carry death sentences or heavy jail terms because, according to Islamic law, the convicts are “mohareb,” or enemies of god.

At Ashtari’s hearing, the revolutionary court, which has jurisdiction over national security offences, presented tools allegedly put at the disposal of the accused by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad for the purpose of spying on Iran.

The Fars news agency quoted Ashtari as confessing to his espionage activities for Mossad and begging for mercy.

Ashtari was arrested at the beginning of 2007 by intelligence agents on accusations that he had given telecommunications data to the Israelis.

He was the owner of a company that imported security equipment into Iran and had a branch office in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where he was apparently approached by the Mossad agents who, under the pretext of business cooperation, sought telecommunications information.

Ashtari reportedly met the three agents 13 times and received $50,000 from them.

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