An Iranian court has sentenced a man to death for allegedly spying for U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies on a top military commander who was later assassinated, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary said Tuesday.
The spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said the accused provided information on the whereabouts of a top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in January.
It was unclear how the man – identified as Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, an Iranian national – would have had access to the commander and the details of his travel itineraries. Soleimani headed the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, an expeditionary wing, and was targeted as he left the Baghdad airport.
Esmaili did not directly link the intelligence allegedly gathered by Majd to Soleimani’s killing. He said Majd also spied on other Iranian security branches, including the armed forces, in exchange for U.S. funds, but he did not provide any evidence.
“He was connected both to [Israel’s] Mossad and the CIA,” Esmaili said, the judiciary’s news service, Mizan, reported.
The report quoted Esmaili as saying the death sentence was upheld by an appeals court and that Majd would be executed “soon.”
(c) 2020, The Washington Post · Erin Cunningham