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Iran Sentences Man to Death for Spying for the CIA

By VOANews October 1, 2019

Iran's judiciary says it has sentenced a man to death for spying for the CIA, amid rising tensions between Tehran and the U.S.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhhossein Esmaili said Tuesday two other people were sentenced to 10 years in prison for the same crime and a fourth received a 10 year sentence for spying for Britain.

Esmaili said the individual who received the death sentence has appealed and that a final decision will be made by the country's appeals court.

The verdicts came as tensions between Iran and the U.S. continue to heighten after President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers. Trump has also renewed sanctions that have weakened Iran's economy in an attempt to pressure Tehran to renegotiate the deal.

Esmaili declined to identify the recipient of the death sentence.

He said the two men sentenced to 10 years for spying for the CIA were Iranian nationals Ali Nefriyeh and Mohammad Ali Babapour. The men were ordered to repay $55,000 they had received.

Esmaili said the person sentenced for spying for British intelligence was Mohammad Amin-Nasab, also an Iranian.

Esmaili also announced that an appeals court had reduced the prison term for President Hassan Rouhani's brother, who had been convicted on bribery charges. Hossein Fereidoun's sentence had been cut from seven to five years.

It was not immediately known if Tuesday's sentences were linked to cases stemming from Iran's announcement in July that it captured 17 spies working for the CIA.

There has been no U.S. comment on the sentences announced Tuesday.

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