Skip to main content

Iran claims it hanged CIA, Mossad spies

By CNN Staff
updated 6:36 AM EDT, Mon May 20, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Iran says the men were providing classified material to foreign intelligence agencies
  • There were no comments from Israeli or U.S. officials
  • One rights group says Iran hanged 488 people in one 12-month period
  • Iran still holds former U.S. Marine it says was spying for the CIA

(CNN) -- Two men who the Iranian government said worked as spies for Israel and the United States were hanged Sunday morning, according to Iranian state news outlet Press TV.

The men were identified as Mohammad Heidari and Kourosh Ahmadi. Press TV said Heidari provided classified information to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and Ahmadi had been convicted of providing the CIA with intelligence.

There were no details on when the men were arrested or when they were tried. The hangings occurred at dawn, the report said.

Israeli officials didn't comment on the report.

Uncertainty in Iranian elections

The U.S. State Department acknowledged seeing the reports but had no comment. The CIA didn't immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

The advocacy group Human Rights Activists News Agency, based in Iran, estimated in 2012 that there were 488 hangings in the prior 12 months. About 12% of those were public executions, the group said, according to a State Department report.

One person hanged in 2012 was Majid Jamali Fashi, who was convicted of killing an Iranian scientist. Iran said Israel paid him $120,000 to kill elementary-particle physicist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi.

Iran also has blamed the United States and the United Kingdom for attacks against nuclear scientists.

Iran's enrichment of uranium has been one of the most contentious issues in nuclear talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries -- the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany. Iran has denied that it aims to build a nuclear bomb, claiming its nuclear program is for energy and medical use.

Iran also holds a former U.S. Marine, Amir Hekmati, who was detained in August 2011 while visiting his grandmother. Iranian authorities accused him of spying for the CIA, a charge his family and the Obama administration deny.

Originally he was sentenced to death during a closed-door trial, but that conviction was overturned, and the Arizona native awaits a new trial.

CNN's Michael Schwartz contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
updated 4:16 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Hamas: "Lift the siege." Israel: "End the rockets." The two sides' demands will be difficult to reconcile.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to Malaysia Airlines' Hugh Dunleavy about how the airline industry needs to react to MH17.
updated 4:42 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, and baroque theaters to block-long warehouses, these stores make bookish travelers look stylish.
updated 2:57 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
ADVERTISEMENT