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Iran Executes Man Accused of Spying for US, Israel

By VOA News July 20, 2020

Iran's judiciary says a former translator Monday, whom the government accused of spying for U.S. and Israeli intelligence, and of helping to locate Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani has been executed. Soleimani was killed in an America drone attack earlier this year.

The execution of Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, who was arrested in 2018, comes as millions of Iranians have taken to social media to protest the death sentences of three young men accused of participating in anti-government protests last November.

One of their attorneys, Babak Paknia, said Sunday that their executions had been suspended.

The lawyer identified the three as friends Amirhossein Moradi, a 26-year-old retail worker, Said Tamjidi, a 28-year-old driver for Snapp (Iran's Uber), and Mohammad Rajabi, also 26 and unemployed.

The country's Supreme Court decided to review their case, state TV also reported on Sunday.

"Suspension of execution of three sentenced-to-death defendants and re-examination of the file, after follow-ups of the lawyers of the three defendants accused of robbery by using force, as well as rioting in last year's November protests, on implementation of Article 474 which means re-examination of the lawsuit, the Supreme Court of the country has accepted their appeal," Ali Zohourian IRIB newsreader reported.

Rights activists said the sentences for the three men were aimed at discouraging future protests and intimidating potential participants.

The Farsi hashtag "Don't execute" was re-tweeted millions of times last week.

Meanwhile, state news agency IRNA quoted Iranian police as saying Monday that they had arrested people participating in last week's protest in Behbahan city, in the southwest of the country, for "an illegal and norm-breaking gathering."

The number of those arrested and their identities were not revealed.

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