Iran executes scientist for spying for US

Tehran—Iran has executed a nuclear scientist convicted of handing over “confidential and vital” information to the United States, a judicial spokesman said on Sunday.
“Shahram Amiri was hanged for revealing the country’s top secrets to the enemy,” Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie told reporters in Tehran.
Amiri disappeared in Saudi Arabia in June 2009 and resurfaced a year later in the United States.
Conflicting accounts said he had either been abducted or had defected at a time when international tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme were at their peak. In a surprise move, Amiri then returned to Tehran in July 2010, saying he had been kidnapped at gunpoint by two Farsi-speaking CIA agents in the Saudi city of Medina.
At first he was greeted as a hero, telling reporters as he stepped off the plane at Tehran airport that he had resisted pressure from his US captors to pretend he was a defector.
He denied he was a nuclear scientist and said US officials wanted him to tell the media he had “defected on his own and was carrying important documents and a laptop which contained classified secrets of Iran’s military nuclear programme.”
“But with God’s will, I resisted,” Amiri said as he was welcomed home by his tearful wife and young son.
However, it was soon clear that Iranian authorities had not accepted this version of events and Amiri dropped out of public view. He was probably arrested although it was never officially reported.
Iran’s judicial spokesman said Sunday that the Iranian intelligence services had “outsmarted” the US.
“American intelligence services thought Iran has no knowledge of his transfer to Saudi Arabia and what he was doing but we knew all of it and were monitoring,” Ejeie told reporters.
“This person, having access to confidential and highly confidential information of the regime, had established a connection to our number one enemy, America, and had provided the enemy with Iran’s confidential and vital information,” he added. Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic ties since 1980, when students stormed the US embassy following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
“Shahram Amiri was tried in accordance with law and in the presence of his lawyer. He appealed his death sentence based on judicial process. The Supreme Court… confirmed it after meticulous reviews,” he added.—AFP

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