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Iran executes man convicted of spying, giving US information on Soleimani

Qassem Soleimani, IRGC Quds Forces Commander, attending National AGIR Commanders Conference. (Mahmoud Hosseini/Tasnim News Agency)

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

Iran’s judiciary said the country has executed a man convicted of providing information to the United States and Israel about a powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander later killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.

“Mahmud Musavi-Majd’s 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,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported on July 20.

Iranian authorities in June said Musavi-Majd passed on information about the whereabouts of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force who was killed in a U.S. air strike near Baghdad in January.

The judiciary said last month that Musavi-Majd’s death sentence had been upheld by the Supreme Court and would be carried out “soon.”

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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 shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. Iran blamed a misaligned missile battery and miscommunication between soldiers and superior officers.

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 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

It said some of them had been sentenced to death.

The report comes after Iran’s judiciary announced on July 14 that a former Defense Ministry worker convicted of selling information to the CIA had been executed.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on July 14 that Reza Asgari had been in touch with the CIA during his last years serving at the Defense Ministry and sold the agency information about Iran’s missile program.

Esmaili said Asgari was executed a week earlier, adding that he had worked in the aerospace department of the Defense Ministry and retired four years ago.