Iran's supreme court upheld on Tuesday the death sentence handed out to an alleged CIA spy. The Iranian officials said the execution will take place soon. The condemned man, an Iranian, is accused of leaking information about the country's nuclear program to the Central Investigation Agency.

"The Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence handed down to Amir Rahimpour, who was a highly-paid CIA spy seeking to pass information regarding Iran's nuclear program to the US intelligence service. He will soon be held to account," Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili said.

Executed by hanging
Executed by hanging Pixabay

17 professional spies captured

Iran also sentenced two other persons, who were found to have collected vital defence information by operating under a false charity organisation, to ten years in prison, Press TV said. The sentencing follows the July 2019 busting of an alleged spy ring. The investigators had said that they captured 17 professional spies who were passing on information to CI throughout 2018.

"The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas... where they collected classified information," the statement said.

Qasem Soleimani
Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani Wikimedia Commons

Execution of two teenagers

Iran executed alleged US spy Shahram Amiri in 2016. He was a nuclear scientist, who was accused of leaking top secret information to the United States. Amiri was the last alleged US spy to be executed in Iran. In 2019, Iran shocked the world by executing two teenage boys. The execution of two 17-year-old cousins, Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat, was condemned by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) as an abhorrent violation of human rights obligations. The teenagers had been arrested in 2017 when they were 15 over charges including rape.

The sentencing of the alleged US spy comes in the wake of a bout of nasty confrontation between the US and Iran, which led to the killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Iran retaliated by launching missiles into the US military base in Iraq, leaving dozens of US soldiers with minor injuries.