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Monday, June 30, 2008

Iranian sentenced to death for spying for Israel

A 45-year old Iranian electronics merchant, who did business with the country's military and security services, has been sentenced to death for spying for Israel.
The Iranian FARS news agency reported that Ali Ashtari was accused of "jeopardizing Iranian security." He was also accused of receiving payment from the Mossad.

"Ali Ashtari, who was accused of spying for the Zionist state and for the Mossad was sentenced to death," the report said.


Iran's state TV quoted an unnamed official as saying Ashtari "relayed sensitive information on military, defense and research centers" to Mossad intelligence officers.
Ashtari was also accused of giving out information regarding Iran's nuclear installations. His name was not disclosed until he was sentenced to death on Monday morning.
On Saturday, Ashtari appeared in court to face charges of spying for Israel in exchange for money. According to Iranian media reports, the presiding judge was shown "spying equipment" which the prosecution claims was provided by the Mossad.

Iranian television broadcasted footage of Ashtari as he was being led to court.

During the deliberation, Ashtari's attorney claimed that his client was innocent. Ashtari has 20 days to appeal.
There is no mention of whether or not Ashtari (pictured at right) is Jewish.

France24 adds:
The sentence against Ali Ashtari, 43, who was arrested one and a half years ago, was handed down by a revolutionary court and the accused can still appeal the verdict, the [FARS news] agency said.

"The revolutionary court has found Ali Ashtari -- a spy of the Zionist regime -- to be mohareb (an enemy of god) and sentenced him to death," Fars quoted an unnamed intelligence official as saying.

"This is an initial verdict and should receive final approval. The defendant can appeal," the official added.
AFP adds:
According to Ashtari's "confession", published in full by Fars, he was a salesman of telecoms equipment which sought to help the Israeli intelligence service Mossad access secret information from Iranian officials.

Mossad gave him 50,000 dollars to buy Internet cables and satellite phones and then sell them on to "special customers" in the hope of enabling Israel to spy on their communications.

His handlers "introduced themselves as Jacques, Charles and Tony," Ashtari said.

"I had meetings in Thailand, Turkey and Switzerland with them. They gave me some equipment including a laptop through which I could send encrypted emails," he said.

They wanted "me to sell these terminals in Iran to my special customers so they could hack into this equipment.

"I am not sure what they intended to do as before I sold these to my customers I was arrested," he added.
While I have no doubt that Israel has spies in Iran, I have my doubts this is one of them.


At 12:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Iran is getting paranoid in the wake of reports Israel may soon take military action to thwart its nuclear program. This doesn't sound at all like the picture of a confident regime. Behind the scenes, I would guess there's a good deal of anxiety about what Israel might do among the Iranian elite that can't be completely hidden by the public anti-Israel bravado.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Israel needs to play the game better.....

it's time for names WITHIN hezbollah, hamas, syria and iran to be leaked...

these people of course are enemies of israel these names should be allowed to be leak out...

think of it... if israel releases several hundred prisoners, then israel needs to leak the names of several dozen "collaborators" (that of course are not)

feed the paranoia..

screw with their minds...

get nasrallah & company to distrust everyone around them...

If Israel doesnt start growing some balls SOON, Jews OUTSIDE of Israel will stop looking to israel as the beacon of hope for Jews worldwide...


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