Iranian nuclear scientist executed for spying for US

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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 was quoted as saying by the Mizan Online news site.

Amiri disappeared in Saudi Arabia in June 2009 and resurfaced a year later in the United States. Iranian officials welcomed him back to Iran but there has been little information released since.

Amiri said after returning to the Islamic republic that he had been held in the US for more than a year after being “kidnapped” at gunpoint by two Farsi-speaking CIA agents in the Saudi city of Medina.

Ejeie said the US had been “outsmarted” by Iran’s intelligence services. “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,” he was quoted by state television as saying.

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic ties since 1980, when students stormed the American embassy following the 1979 Islamic revolution.

“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,” Ejeie said

“Shram 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. The spokesman dispelled a “rumour” by Amiri’s family that he had received a 10-year prison term.

Iran last year signed a landmark deal with world powers, including the US, to place curbs on its controversial nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.