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Iran Accuses 4 of US-Backed Coup Plot


Iran's judiciary said it expects a verdict soon in the case of four Iranians accused of involvement in an alleged U.S.-funded plot to topple Iran's Islamic government.

Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi Tuesday said authorities arrested the four suspects in Tehran.

It is unclear when their trial started, but Jamshidi said officials expect to sentence the defendants in coming days.

He said prosecutors accused the suspects of trying to recruit others for training abroad. He did not elaborate.

Iran has previously accused alleged U.S.-backed agents of trying to undermine its government.

News of an impending verdict follows a report Sunday in The New York Times newspaper that quoted unnamed U.S. and foreign officials in a report saying U.S. President George Bush had authorized a covert action aimed at sabotaging Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. There is no indication that the current trial was related to the New York Times report.

Those efforts are reported to have begun in early 2008 and involved plans to penetrate Iran's nuclear supply chain abroad while undermining the country's electrical and computer systems, along with other networks on which Tehran relies.

The report also said Mr. Bush increased intelligence-sharing with Israel and briefed officials on covert U.S. efforts after rejecting an Israeli request to help it bomb Iran's main nuclear complex.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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