Iran’s Supreme Court sentenced four people to death for collaborating with Israeli intelligence agencies. Three others have also been sentenced to five to 10 years in various crimes.
According to Meezan Online, the website of the Iranian Judiciary, the Supreme Court sentenced four people to death for their involvement in kidnapping and cooperation with Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, a long-time enemy of the Islamic Republic.
It said the four men had been sentenced to death “for espionage and kidnapping for the Jewish State (Israel)”. There is no scope of appeal for them.
The names of the persons who have been sentenced to death are Hussain Ardakhanzada, Shaheen Emani Mahmoodabad, Milad Ashrafi Atbatan and Manochharshahbandi Bujandi. No further details have been given about them. According to Meezan Online, three other people have also been sentenced to five to 10 years for the crime of harming national security, aiding kidnapping and illegally possessing weapons.
Iran and Israel have been engaged in indirect warfare against each other for years. Iran accuses Israel of being behind many of the attacks on its soil. These actions include the sabotage of nuclear facilities and the assassination of important figures, including several prominent Iranian scientists.
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on May 22 that it had arrested members of a network operating under the direction of the Israeli intelligence service. The IRGC said in a statement at the time, “These individuals committed thefts, destroyed government officials and property, and were involved in crimes such as kidnapping and extortion.”
Iran said in late July that several agents of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad had been arrested. Iran said the men belonged to a banned Kurdish rebel group and were planning to target sensitive locations.
Allegations of sabotage
Last October, Iran announced the arrest of 10 agents working for Israel in West Azerbaijan. The semi-official Fars news agency reported at the time that these men were in direct contact with Mossad officers. These agents set fire to the cars and houses of people associated with the security services and received money in exchange for photos sent to Mossad officers.
The Supreme Court’s recent decision comes at a time when protests have been taking place across the country since Mehsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman, died in Iranian police custody in September. Twenty-two-year-old Mehsa Amini was arrested by the moral police in Tehran for allegedly violating strict hijab rules.
Meanwhile, an Iranian general said on Monday that more than 300 people have been killed so far during the protests, including about a dozen members of the security forces. While more than 1000 people including 40 foreigners have been detained. According to non-governmental agencies, around 450 people have been killed in the protests that have been going on for more than two months.
Tehran has also recently accused Israeli and Western intelligence agencies of interfering in and inciting protests in Iran following the killing of Mahsa Amini.
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