Iran to execute man accused of helping US spy on slain general Qassem Soleimani | News | DW | 09.06.2020
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Iran to execute man accused of helping US spy on slain general Qassem Soleimani

The Iranian man is accused of passing on information about the whereabouts of top Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani to the US and Israel. Iran later said the information was not tied to Soleimani's death.

An Iranian man was sentenced to death on Tuesday for providing intel to the United States and Israel on the location of slain Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The man, identified as Mahmoud MM, was accused of passing on information about Soleimani's whereabouts to the CIA and Mossad in return for payment, an Iranian Justice Ministry spokesperson said.

The man will soon be executed, according to state news agency IRNA.

Later on Tuesday, the same ministry issued a second statement, clarifying that the man's activities had been uncovered before the airstrike that killed Soleimani and that he had been in prison for some time. He was not, therefore, thought to be involved in the general's death.

Tensions soar after general's death

Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force, was killed in a US drone strike in near Baghdad airport in Iraq on January 3 this year.

The killing ratcheted up tensions between Iran and the United States, with Washington blaming Soleimani for being the mastermind behind attacks on US forces in the region.

Read more: Congress passes resolution to restrain Trump on Iran

Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi air base where US forces were stationed, with Iranian forces later mistakenly shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane that had just taken off from Tehran.

Soleimani's funeral ceremonies prompted a mass outpouring of mourners across the country.

rs/msh (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

Editor's note: This story has been altered post-publication to make it clearer that authorities in Tehran do not believe that the man helped in the airstrike that killed Soleimani, as he was already in jail by that time.The alteration took place following clarification and a follow-up statement from authorities in Iran.

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