Iran upholds death penalty for academic accused of spying

Iran upholds death penalty for academic accused of spying
2 min read
26 December, 2017
Iranian authorities confirm that researcher Ahmad Reza Jalali will face the death penalty after being accused of spying on behalf of Israel.
Ahmad Reza Jalali is accused of spying for Israeli intelligence agency Mossad [AFP]

Iran's Supreme Court has approved the death sentence of an Iranian researcher accused of spying for Israel.

Ahmad Reza Jalali, who has been jailed since April 2016, was shown on state TV earlier this month confessing to providing information to Israel's Mossad spy agency about Iranian military and nuclear scientists, including two who were assassinated in 2010.

It was not clear if he was speaking under duress. Rights groups say detainees in Iran are often denied due process.

The semi-official ISNA news agency reported the court's decision on Monday. It is not clear when the sentence will be carried out. The ruling is not subject to appeal.

Iranian authorities say that the information allegdly provided by Jalali led to the deaths of Iranian scientists.

Between 2010 and 2012, five Iranian scientists - four of them involved in the country's nuclear programme - were murdered in bomb and gun attacks in Tehran.

The Islamic republic accused the US and Israel of killing its scientists, including Shahriari, a key member of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a deputy director of the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.

In 2012, Iran executed Majid Jamali Fashi, who was convicted of working for Mossad and assassinating Alimohammadi.

Three others, including nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, have since been hanged for allegedly working for Israel and the US.