‘Spy handed death penalty was nabbed months before Gen. Soleimani assassination’

Tasnim – Iran’s Judiciary said a man sentenced to death for spying for the CIA and Mossad on the whereabouts of Lt. General Qassem Soleimani had been arrested four months before US assassination of the top Iranian general in Iraq.

The Iranian Judiciary’s press office announced on Tuesday that the case of Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, the spy convicted of connections with the‌ US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli espionage service Mossad, has nothing to do with the American assassination of Lt. General Soleimani in Baghdad in early January.

Mousavi Majd had been arrested months before the martyrdom of Lt. General Soleimani and the court had issued an initial ruling on his case on August 25, 2019, the Judiciary said, noting that the spy has never been released from custody since apprehension.

All judicial procedures surrounding the cases of the spy had been carried out before the martyrdom of Lt. General Soleimani and, therefore, his case is unrelated to the US assassination of the commander of the IRGC Quds Force, the Judiciary explained.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaeili said Mousavi Majd had been gathering intelligence for the CIA and Mossad on the Iranian security sphere and Armed Forces, including on the IRGC Quds Forces and on the whereabouts of Lt. General Soleimani.

The Revolution’s Court has sentenced the spy to death, and the ruling has been upheld by another court, he said, adding that the convict will soon be executed.

Lt. General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the deputy head of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi (PMU), and a number of their entourage were killed in a strike by American drones near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

The White House and the Pentagon claimed responsibility for the assassination of General Soleimani in Iraq, saying the attack was carried out at the direction of US President Donald Trump.

In the early hours of January 8, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in retaliation for the US move.