Iranian accused of spying for Israel gets death sentence

June 30th, 2008 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, June 30 (Xinhua) An Iranian citizen was given death sentence by the country’s Revolutionary Court for spying for Israel, Press TV reported Monday. Ali Ashtari, 45, was arrested some one-and-a-half years ago. The court found him guilty of high treason and sentenced him to death.

“Ali Ashtari had links with the spy agencies of the Israeli regime,” the report quoted an official with Iran’s intelligence ministry as saying.

Ashtari had “transferred sensitive information from Iran’s research, military and defence centres, including the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, to Mossad”, the official said on condition of anonymity.

“Ashtari provided information about certain Iranian figures to Mossad and made efforts to connect experts of these centres to the Israeli intelligence agency,” he said.

Iranian officials said this is an initial verdict and would require a final approval from the country’s Supreme Court, adding that the defendant has the right to appeal against the verdict.

Earlier, 13 Iranian Jews were imprisoned in 1999 by the authorities on suspicion of spying.

Iran has often accused the US, Israel and Britain for supporting espionage activities in Iran.

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