Majid Jamali Fashi, who was accused by Iran of being an Israeli spy and convicted of the 2010 killing of nuclear scientist Massoud ali-Mohammadi, was hanged in Tehran on Tuesday morning, Iran’s state TV said.
In addition to the murder charge, Fashi, 24, who was arrested in January 2011, was convicted of visiting Israel, where he allegedly received instruction and training from the Mossad as well as $120,000 for the assassination of Mohammadi.
In a video interview aired in Iran in January 2011, Fashi ostensibly confessed to the Mossad connection and the killing. He also claimed he only received half of what the Mossad had promised to pay him.
He was tried and convicted in Tehran in August 2011 and sentenced to death. His lawyer appealed the verdict but Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the execution order issued by a lower court, paving the way for Tuesday’s hanging.
Mohammadi, a Tehran University physics professor, was killed on January 12, 2010, by a booby-trapped motorcycle that exploded near his Tehran home as he left for work.
Iran says that Israel and the US are trying to disrupt its nuclear program through covert operations. At least five Iranian nuclear scientists, including a manager at the Natanz enrichment facility, have been killed in recent years. Tehran has accused Israel’s Mossad, the CIA and Britain’s MI-6 of being behind the assassinations. The US and Britain have denied the allegations; Israel has remained silent on the issue, though various political leaders and security chiefs have hinted at acts of sabotage.
In an interview with The Times of Israel this week, Dan Meridor, Israel’s deputy prime minister and minister of intelligence and atomic energy, said: “We have a very strong interest in stopping Iran from becoming nuclear… I think there is a chance of success and it’s done partly overtly, partly covertly; it’s done by economic, diplomatic and other means and we need to succeed here.”
Iranian state-owned Press TV reported on Sunday that a court had also convicted 13 other people accused of spying for Israel. According to Press TV, the defendants were lured into spying for the Mossad by overseas-based satellite television networks and clever advertising campaigns, and they accepted large sums of money from Mossad and CIA agents.