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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Mossad, CIA spy who aided Soleimani killing executed: Iran

Iran says that it has executed an agent of the CIA and Mossad who provided valuable information to these two agencies in their mission to assassinate Qassem Soleimani. Has this execution caught the US and ally Israel red-handed?

Iran on Monday executed a former translator convicted of spying for the CIA and the Mossad, including helping to locate a top Iranian general killed later by the Americans, the judiciary said.

The killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January brought decades-old arch enemies Iran and the United States to the brink of conflict.

Iran executes Mossad, CIA spy over “espionage” and “betrayal” of Iran

The judiciary’s Mizan Online website said Mahmoud Mousavi Majd’s death “sentence was carried out on Monday morning over the charge of espionage so that the case of his betrayal to his country will be closed forever”.

Its spokesman said earlier this month that Majd had been sentenced to death for spying on “various security fields, especially the armed forces and the Quds Force and the whereabouts and movements of martyr General Qasem Soleimani”.

Read more: Iran manages to quell another protest, for now

Majd had been found guilty of receiving large sums of money from both the US Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s Mossad, said the spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.

Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran retaliated for his death by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq, but US President Donald Trump opted against responding militarily.

While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain Al-Asad left no US soldiers dead, dozens of them suffered brain trauma.

Executed man had been arrested two years previously

Majd was arrested some two years ago and was not directly involved in the killing of Soleimani in Baghdad, according to a statement the judiciary issued in June.

Majd had migrated to Syria in the 1970s with his family and worked as an English and Arabic language translator at a company, Mizan said.

When war broke out, he chose to stay in the country while his family left.

“His knowledge of Arabic and familiarity with Syria’s geography made him close to Iranian military advisers and he took responsibilities in groups stationed from Idlib to Latakia,” the site added.

Read more: In a first, opposition party stages ‘e-rebellion’ against Iran

Majd was not a member of the Revolutionary Guards “but infiltrated many sensitive areas under the cover of being a translator”.

He was found to have been paid “American dollars to reveal information on adviser convoys, military equipment and communication systems, commanders and their movements, important geographical areas, codes and passwords” until he came under scrutiny and his access was downgraded.

He was arrested in October 2018, Mizan said.

In early June, Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaeili said that Mousavi Majd, a spy linked with foreign intelligence services has also been sentenced to death. “Recently an individual named Seyyed Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, who had been connected with Mossad and CIA services and had collected and transmitted intelligence on the location of Martyr General Soleimani, has been given a death sentence by the Islamic Revolution Court.” It is also implied that Mousavi Majd was not acting alone, and that there are other defendants in this case.

Iran executes Mossad, CIA spy in immediate aftermath of another execution

Iran said last week it had executed another man convicted of spying for the CIA by selling information about Iran’s missile programme.

Reza Asgari had worked at the defence ministry’s aerospace division for years but retired four years ago, after which he sold “information he had regarding our missiles” to the CIA in exchange for large sums of money.

Iran in February handed down a similar sentence for Amir Rahimpour, another man convicted of spying for the US and conspiring to sell information on Iran’s nuclear programme.

Read more: Iran halts execution of 3 convicted over November protests

Tehran announced in December it had arrested eight people “linked to the CIA” and involved in nationwide street protests that erupted the previous month over a surprise petrol price hike.

It also said in July 2019 that it had dismantled a CIA spy ring, arrested 17 suspects between March 2018 and March 2019 and sentenced some of them to death.

Trump at the time dismissed the claim as “totally false”.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk