Monday, July 20, 2020

Iran executes translator convicted of spying for CIA, Israel

Iran on Monday executed a former translator convicted of spying for the US and Israel, including helping to locate a top Iranian general killed later by the Americans, the judiciary said.

The killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January brought decades-old arch-enemies Iran and the United States to the brink of conflict.

The judiciary’s Mizan Online website said Mahmoud Mousavi Majd’s death “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”.

Its spokesman said earlier this month that Majd had been sentenced to death for spying on “various security fields, especially the armed forces and the Quds Force and the whereabouts and movements of martyr General Qasem Soleimani”.

Majd had been found guilty of receiving large sums of money from both the US Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s Mossad, said the spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.

Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran retaliated for his death by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq, but US President Donald Trump opted against responding militarily.

While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain Al-Asad left no US soldiers dead, dozens of them suffered brain trauma.

Majd was arrested some two years ago and was not directly involved in the killing of Soleimani in Baghdad, according to a statement the judiciary issued in June.

Majd had migrated to Syria in the 1970s with his family and worked as an English and Arabic language translator at a company, Mizan said.

When war broke out, he chose to stay in the country while his family left.

“His knowledge of Arabic and familiarity with Syria’s geography made him close to Iranian military advisers and he took responsibilities in groups stationed from Idlib to Latakia,” the site added.

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