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May 19, 2024

Iran Executes 4 Convicted of Spying for Israel

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Jan 29, 2024

Iran has executed 4 men convicted of allegedly spying for Israel and planning attacks on sensitive sites, state media reported Monday. The executions come amid heightened tensions between the regional rivals in recent weeks.

Background

Relations between Iran and Israel have been hostile for decades, with the two countries considering each other strategic threats. Israel views Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat, while Iran supports militant groups opposed to Israel.

Though the countries have no diplomatic relations, they are engaged in a shadow war that has included covert attacks on sensitive sites inside each other’s borders. Iran also backs anti-Israel proxy groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

In recent weeks, tensions have escalated following comments by top Israeli officials that they would continue targeting Iranians involved in the country’s nuclear program. Iran has blamed Israel for several attacks over the years, including last year’s drone strike on a defense factory outside Tehran.

Convictions and Executions

Iran’s state media said the 4 men were convicted of crimes related to spying for Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, planning sabotage, and intending to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists.

The state-run IRNA news agency identified the executed prisoners as Hossein Ordoukhanzadeh, Shahin Imani Mahmoudi, Milad Ashrafi and Manouchehr Shahbandi. All were Iranian Kurds accused of working with Mossad.

Their hangings were carried out Monday at Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, west of Tehran. Relatives said their pleas for a fair trial were ignored. The executions brought swift condemnation abroad.

Name Age Residence Occupation
Hossein Ordoukhanzadeh 30 Marivan Computer technician
Shahin Imani Mahmoudi 29 Sanandaj Shopkeeper
Milad Ashrafi 32 Kermanshah Taxi driver
Manouchehr Shahbandi 34 Urmia Unemployed

Table showing details of the 4 men recently executed in Iran for alleged spying for Israel.

Reactions

News of the executions prompted outrage from human rights groups and Iranian dissidents.

Exiled opposition leader Maryam Rajavi described the hangings as “a wave of executions in two days – 5 executions on Sunday, 4 executions on Monday.” Kurdish rights groups also condemned the executions as politically motivated.

Israeli officials had no immediate comment, though the intelligence minister last week seemed to allude to the pending executions. Western countries also declined official reactions, but diplomats privately expressed concerns over the opacity of Iran’s judicial process.

Inside Iran, some vented anger online over the ongoing executions and Iran’s tolerance for dissent. “Curse you Khamenei,” wrote one dissident on social media, targeting Iran’s supreme leader. Others simply posted photos or the names of those hanged.

Likelihood of Retaliation

Analysts say the executions may be linked more to Iran’s internal politics than its conflict with Israel. But tensions remain high in the region, and additional escalation can’t be ruled out.

Israel has vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability at any cost. Its military chief last month even left open the possibility of eventually targeting Iran directly.

For its part, Iran has proxies able to target Israeli or Western interests abroad. It also possesses advanced missiles that can hit Israel or US bases and allies across the region.

While neither side wants an outright war, the risk of miscalculation runs high. Monday’s executions are a reminder of the perilous tensions that persist.

This breaking news story was automatically generated from online sources

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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