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Iran Sentences CIA Agent to Death over Espionage on Nuclear Program: Judiciary

“The Supreme Court has recently confirmed a death sentence handed down to Amir Rahimpour, who was a highly-paid CIA agent seeking to pass some information on Iran’s nuclear program to the US intelligence service. He will soon be held to account,” Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili said on Tuesday. He added that two other spies, who were collecting information for the US under the guise of a charity organization, have also been given ten years in prison over espionage. The pair also received a five-year jail term each for acts against Iran’s national security. Back on July 22 last year, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced it had identified and destroyed an integrated network of operatives serving the CIA inside the country. The Ministry’s director-general for counterintelligence said at the time that Iran captured 17 professional spies working on behalf of the CIA throughout the year 2018 and some of those arrested had been handed death sentences, according to the Fars news agency. “The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas... where they collected classified information,” the unnamed official said in a statement. The last US spy to be executed in Iran was Shahram Amiri, a nuclear scientist convicted of leaking the country’s top secret information to the United States. His death sentence was implemented in 2016. Iran’s nuclear industry has repeatedly been the target of sabotage operations over the past years. In the most famous case, Stuxnet, a cyber weapon widely believed to have been made by the US and Israel, hit the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz in 2010. The attack prompted Tehran to later develop an indigenous firewall to secure its sensitive industrial structures against the malware. Many of the country’s nuclear scientists have also been assassinated by Israeli agents in an attempt to blunt the progress of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Tensions between the United States and Iran have especially been escalating since May 2018, when US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran.

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