DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian courts have sentenced one person to death for spying for the CIA and jailed two others for 10 years for the same crime, as well as imprisoning a fourth person for 10 years for spying for Britain, the judiciary said on Tuesday.
The verdicts come amid spiraling tensions between Tehran and the United States since President Donald Trump last year withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy in order to force Tehran to renegotiate the pact.
It was not immediately clear if any of the cases were linked to Iran’s announcement in July that it captured 17 spies working for the CIA.
“One person has been sentenced to death for spying for America’s intelligence service … but the ruling has been appealed,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili was quoted as saying by the judiciary’s news website Mizan.
The other two men, identified as Ali Nefriyeh and Mohammad Ali Babapour, received final 10-year sentences for spying for the CIA, and were ordered to repay $55,000 they had received, he said.
Mohammad Amin-Nasab was sentenced to 10 years in prison for spying for British intelligence, Esmaili said.
Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Alison Williams