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Iran to execute man convicted of spying on slain top general Soleimani

Qassem Soleimani (Tasnim News Agency/WikiMedia)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran says a man they say passed on information about the whereabouts of a top Iranian general who was killed in a U.S. air strike in Iraq early this year has been sentenced to death.

Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) elite Qods Force, died in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s airport in early January, ratcheting up tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhussein Esmaili said on June 9 that the death sentence handed to Seyed Mahmud Musavi-Majd earlier has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Iran and will be carried out “soon.”

The spokesman said Musavi-Majd had received large sums of money from both the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel’s Mossad.

He said the man had passed on information about the Iranian armed forces, including the Qods Force, and Soleimani’s whereabouts.

In retaliation for Soleimani’s killing in the early hours of January 3, an Iranian ballistic-missile strike on an Iraqi air base left some 110 U.S. troops suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

Hours later, Iranian forces accidently shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

Iranian officials did not say whether Musavi-Majd’s case was linked to Iran’s announcement in the summer of 2019 that it had captured 17 spies working for the CIA. It said some of them had been sentenced to death.

In February of this year, Iran handed down a death sentence for Amir Rahimpour, a man convicted of spying for the United States and attempting to pass on information about Tehran’s nuclear program.