Iran says it has executed a CIA and Mossad agent, who had been convicted of espionage for US and Israeli spying agencies, including the exposing of top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani’s whereabouts to them.
Mahmoud Mousavi Majd was executed early Monday, Mizan Online, the Judiciary’s news agency, reported.
Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaeili had announced the death sentence during a press conference on June 9.
The convict had contacted the spy agencies, providing them with information he had gathered in various security-related areas, especially data concerning the Iranian Armed Forces, including the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmaeili said at the time. According to the spokesman, Majd handed over the information to the US and Israeli spy agencies in exchange for remuneration in dollar.
Mizan Online said on one count, Majd had been convicted of spying on General Soleimani, the Quds Force’s former commander, plus other military commanders’ movements and locations, and reporting them to the CIA and Mossad.
The death sentence was upheld by Branch 19 of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Court.
General Soleimani was assassinated in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport on January 3, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and a number of their companions.
Both commanders were extremely popular because of playing a key role in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier in July, Agnes Callamard, United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in a report to the UN Human Rights Council underlined the “unlawful” nature of the operation because the US had failed to provide evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike.
Also speaking to Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network on July 12, she called the assassination “violation of every single principle not only governing international law, but governing international relations.”
Had an official “from a so-called ‘democratic’ Western country” been targeted in such a manner, that country would have considered the attack “as an act of aggression and as declaration of war,” Callamard said.
The UN rapporteur has issued a warning to the US and other countries, urging them not to repeat such acts of aggression.
In response to the assassination, the IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq on January 8. Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining President Donald Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.
Mizan Online, meanwhile, offered a brief background on the spy who had moved to Syria alongside his family due to his father’s business activities decades ago.
After his studies, Majd, who had become proficient in Arabic and English, enrolled as a translator with a company that was in contact with Iran. He remained in Syria until a foreign-backed war broke out in 2011.
He then tried establishing close contact with Iranian military advisors there, before contacting a West Asia-based CIA officer.
Majd’s contacts with the officer were detected by the Islamic Republic’s intelligence. The spy’s “suspicious behavior” then led to more rigorous investigation about him that unveiled his communications with “a network of CIA intelligence officers.”