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Former Iranian Diplomat Convicted of Spying by Egyptian Court

An Egyptian court has convicted a former Iranian diplomat and an Egyptian man of spying for Iran. Iran's foreign ministry spokesman called the verdict "ridiculous."

The Iranian, Mohammed Reza Husseindoust, was sentenced in his absence to 25 years in prison. The court ruled he tried to destablize Egypt and received information from the Egyptian defendant, Mahmoud Eid Dabous, about oil facilities at the Saudi port of Yanbu.

Several westerners were killed in May of 2004 in an attack on a petrochemical plant in Yanbu. The attack was blamed on Islamist militants.

Dabous was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the espionage charge and another 25 years for plotting to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He denied the allegations and said his earlier confession was made under torture.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.