Iran: Five Iranians Spying for ‘Foreign Powers’ Arrested in Recent Months

DUBAI (Reuters) -

Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested five Iranians spying for Israel, Britain and Germany in recent months.

“In recent months, five Iranians who were spying for foreign intelligence services have been arrested. … They were spying for Israel, Britain and Germany. Two of those spies have been convicted and sentenced to prison,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said in a weekly virtual news conference.

Shahram Shirkhani spied for British intelligence services and tried to recruit some Iranian officials for Britain’s MI6 agency, Esmali said.

Shirkhani had passed on classified information about Iran’s Central Bank and Defence Ministry contracts, he said. He has been convicted and received a prison sentence.

Masoud Mosaheb, who was secretary-general of the Iran-Austria friendship association, also has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for spying for Israel’s Mossad and the German intelligence services, the spokesman said.

He gave no details on the other three detainees.

Last month, Iran executed a former Defense Ministry employee who allegedly sold information to the CIA. Reza Asgari had linked up with the CIA during his last years in the ministry and sold the agency information about Iran’s missile program, Esmaili said. He retired from the ministry four years ago. 

Last year, Iran announced it had captured 17 spies it said were working for the CIA.