Ali Ashtari was hanged by the Iranian government after being convicted of spying for Israel. The Israeli is the first known conviction for espionage linked to Israel in almost ten years.
It has been confirmed that the electronics saleman was found guilty and hung by Iranian officals. Those officials said that the 45-year-old passed on sensitive information on military, defense and research centers where he had worked. That information included data on Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.
According to the Associated Press:
“We had specific intentions with announcing the execution of Ashtari … we want to show that new intelligence battles with enemy’s intelligence services have begun and that intelligence battles have become more serious,” IRNA quoted the head of the Intelligence Ministry’s Counterespionage Department as saying.
Ashtari was arrested three years ago. He was accused of working with Mossad, the foreign intelligence service in Israel. Israel has denied that the man was part of their program.
In a televised broadcast Saturday it appeared that Ashtari was confessing to the charges laid out according to Al Jazeera-English.
He said: “I made a mistake, I was afraid to go to the ministry of intelligence. This fear caused me to choose the wrong ways. I could not choose any correct way, all the roads that I chose were deads ends.
“Please pay attention to my confession and be aware. Don’t play with your lives. See what’s happened to me and learn a lesson. Do not repeat my mistakes.”
Ashtari’s body was handed over to his family on Monday after he was hung and has since been buried. His death sentence was reached in June.
In June an Israeli official said that they had no knowledge of his case.
IRNA has also announced that four ‘terrorists’ with ‘Zionist equipment’ had been arrested in Iran. Those four are being accused of assassination plots. It has not been revealed where they are being detained.