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Radio Farda

Man Sentenced To Death For Espionage Spied On Iranian Forces In Syria, Judiciary Says

Radio Farda June 13, 2020

The Spokesman of Iran's Judiciary on Saturday said Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd who has been sentenced to death for "espionage on behalf of CIA and Mossad" had spied on Iranian forces in Syria.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an official ceremony, Gholam-Hossein Esmaili said the accused and his family were residents of Syria and he was "in contact with the Iranian forces there" but did not elaborate on whether the accused was a member of "Defenders of the Shrine" or worked for the Revolutionary Guard in another capacity.

"Defender of the Shrine [of Zeynab]" is a term used by Iranian authorities to refer to its the Revolutionary Guard members and the militia organized by it that fight alongside Syrian government forces.

It is not possible to verify the claims of Iran's Judiciary about a collaborator or whether this person was a member of IRGC.

Last week the Judiciary Spokesman implied that Mousavi-Majd had been involved in the targeted killing of Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani's in Iraq by the United States on January 3. This was later refuted by the Media Center of the Judiciary which said all stages of Mousavi-Majd's case and trial predated Soleimani's killing.

According to the statement released by the Judiciary's Media Center, Mousavi-Majd was arrested on October 10, 2018 and was sentenced to death on August 25, 2019 by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. He was re-tried after the Supreme Court found the first trial faulty and was sentenced to death for a second time, which the Supreme Court has now endorsed.

A Twitter account named Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd with tweets in Persian and Arabic that has been publishing information about the accused since June 10, claims that he is innocent and was a "devoted soldier" who became a "victim of the corrupt".

The account has also published a very recent voice recording of Mousavi-Majd in which he says he wants to be tried in a "fair and free court" where he can reveal all the truth. The authenticity of the recording is hard to establish.

The same account claims that he had served as a soldier in Syria since 2017 on the merit of his fluency in Arabic and was arrested and repatriated to Iran in September 2018.

The governments of the United States and Israel have not commented on the allegations.

Source: https://en.radiofarda.com/a/man-sentenced-to- death-for-espionage-spied-on-iranian-forces- in-syria-judiciary-says/30668853.html

Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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