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Iran Executes Nuclear Scientist for Spying for the US

  • VOA News

FILE - Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Imam Khomini Airport in Tehran, July 15, 2010. Iran has executed id Amiri who was convicted of giving top secret information about Tehran's controversial nuclear program to the United States.

FILE - Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Imam Khomini Airport in Tehran, July 15, 2010. Iran has executed id Amiri who was convicted of giving top secret information about Tehran's controversial nuclear program to the United States.

Iran has executed a nuclear scientist who was convicted of giving top secret information about Tehran's controversial nuclear program to the United States.

The execution of Shahram Amiri was confirmed Sunday by Iran's official news agency, IRNA. "Through his connection with the United States, Amiri gave vital information about the country to the enemy," said judicial spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejehi.

Ejehi said a court had sentenced Amiri to death, a sentence that was upheld by Iran's Supreme Court.

Amiri left for Saudi Arabia in 2009 and relocated to the United States a year later. U.S. officials said they paid Amiri about $5 million to leave Iran and provide information about Iran's nuclear program.

A U.S. official said in 2010 that the U.S. received "useful information" from Amiri.

Amiri, a university researcher who worked for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, fled the United States later in 2010 without the money and was welcomed home by Iranian officials as a hero before being arrested. He told Iranian officials he was detained in the United States after being abducted in Saudi Arabia by two U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents.

Iranian officials have contended that its nuclear program was developed for nonviolent purposes. The United States says uranium particles found during an investigation last year at an Iranian military base were probably remains from Iran's secret nuclear weapons program.

Nevertheless, the United States and five other countries reached an agreement last year requiring Iran to limit its nuclear program so that nuclear weapons cannot be developed. In exchange, economic sanctions against Iran were lifted.

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