Iranian citizen confesses to spying for Israel

TEHRAN, July 02 (MNA) – Iranian citizen Ali Ashtari has confessed to spying for Israel.

Ashtari was tried and found guilty of providing “sensitive information on military, defense, and research centers” to Israel.

The director of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’s Counterespionage Department announced that Ashtari, whose trial ended on Saturday, was given the death sentence by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court.  

Ashtari has 20 days to appeal the verdict.

Ashtari is a 43-year-old tradesman in electronic merchandise who supplied electronic devices to military bases and research centers.

Iranian security officials said that Ashtari was a very intelligent person who also invented some electronic and wireless devices.

The material he reportedly sent to Israel included information about the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

In his confession, he said the Mossad gave him $50,000 to supply internet cables and satellite phones to “special customers” with the aim of enabling Israel to spy on their communications.

“I was a seller of communications and security devices… and I had my special customers and this issue attracted foreigners’ attentions. In fact, the destination of my sales (persons and centers) was a subject that interested some countries.”

Ashtari was trying to set up links between Iranian experts and members of the Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad.

On how he first met the Mossad agents, he said, “During a visit to a foreign country, which was made due to the invention of a system which worked with the Soraya satellite, some persons (who introduced themselves) as bank employees entered into talks with me. They tried to show their interest in becoming my (business) partners, and thus they offered me a 50,000 dollar loan.

“Of course, from the beginning, the behavior of these men, their covert actions, changing the place of meetings, refusal to give their true names… all made me suspicious.”

The Mossad agents introduced themselves as “Jacques”, “Charles”, and “Tony”, he explained.

Ashtari said his first meetings with these persons took place in Thailand, adding they also met several times in Turkey and also in Switzerland.

“These persons entered into dialogue with me as employees of Fortis Bank and with the (purported) aim of investing in communications projects.”

About the espionage devices that he received from Mossad, he said after some meetings these persons gave him a laptop so that he could send coded emails to them and receive their messages as well. Ashtari added that the agents also provided him two sets of Soraya Digital Subscriber Lines.

PA/HG

END

MNA

News Code 28759

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