Iran sentenced a man to death on Tuesday for allegedly spying for the CIA and attempting to share information about Tehran’s nuclear program, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Two people accused of working for a charity were concurrently sentenced to 10 years in prison for spying and five years in prison for acting against national security on similar charges, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said, Fars reports.
“Amir Rahimpour who was a CIA spy and got big pay and tried to present part of Iran’s nuclear information to the American service had been tried and sentenced to death and recently the supreme court upheld his sentence and he will see the consequences of his action soon,” Esmaili added, referring to the individual facing capital punishment.
Esmaili provided no evidence of the nationality of the convicted individuals working for a charity. Iran does not recognise dual nationality and the judiciary prosecutes dual nationals as Iranian citizens.
As Breitbart News reported, the accused were all part of a series of mass arrests last year, and those taken into custody faced allegations of having worked on “sensitive sites” in the country’s military and nuclear facilities, an Iranian intelligence official claimed.
U.S. President Donald Trump categorically rejected the charges at the time and added his denial on Twitter:
The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2019
Concern over foreign interference is nearly as old as the Islamic republic. The U.S. embassy in Tehran was stormed by students in November 1979 and called the “spy nest.”
State television aired a 30-episode series last July called “Gando” (an Iranian crocodile species) dramatising with Hollywood flair the Iranian counter-espionage operations, as Breitbart News reported.
Its first season is inspired in part by the case of Jason Rezaian, the Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post in Tehran jailed for 544 days over charges of espionage. Gando portrays him as a spymaster.
Rezaian was released in 2016 as part of a prisoner exchange with Washington.