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Brigadier General Qassam Soleimani

Brigadier General Qassam Soleimani

IRGC – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

IRGC – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Iran says it has executed a CIA spy who allegedly sold information about the country’s missile programme to the United States.

Reza Asgari, a former employee of the ministry of defence, was executed last week, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said.

Relations between Iran and the US have deteriorated in recent years following a number of concerning incidents.

Last month, Iran issued an arrest warrant for Donald Trump over the assassination of a top Revolutionary Guards general and asked Interpol to issue a red notice.

The US president is one of 36 people accused of murder and carrying out acts of terrorism following the drone strike that killed commander Qassem Soleimani, according to Tehran’s prosecutor.

Trump is at the top of the list of suspects, the prosecutor said, adding that the country’s judiciary has given the 36 names to Interpol and asked for its help to capture the president. Interpol said it will not grant Iran’s request.

Last summer, Iran said it had captured 17 spies working for the CIA, some of whom it said were sentenced to death.

In February, it said it had sentenced to death a man for spying for the CIA and attempting to pass on information about Tehran’s nuclear program.

Earlier this month, Tehran announced that an Iranian had been sentenced to death for spying on Soleimani for US and Israeli intelligence.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said in a televised news conference: “Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, one of the spies for the CIA and the Mossad, has been sentenced to death.

“He had shared information about the whereabouts of martyr Soleimani with our enemies.

“He passed on security information to the Israeli and American intelligence agencies about Iran’s armed forces, particularly the Guards.”

Last year, Donald Trump rubbished claims that Iran captured CIA spies and sentenced them to death.

It comes after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard claimed it had identified infiltrators trying to steal secrets.

An intelligence ministry official earlier alleged that CIA-trained operatives infiltrated “sensitive” and “vital” private sectors of Iran – including economic, nuclear, military and cyber sectors – to steal secrets.

Some of those involved in the spy ring were sentenced to execution for being “corrupters”, while the others received prison terms, the ministry added.

US officials initially voiced scepticism, but Trump has now weighed in and described it as a lie.

He claimed it was “totally false” and dismissed it as “just more lies and propaganda” in a tweet.

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