Iran executes second man accused of spying for CIA

Iran executes second man accused of spying for CIA and helping US military carry out fatal drone strike on General Soleimani

  • Mahmoud Mousavi Majd was executed on Monday, Iran’s judiciary has said 
  • Translator who worked with the Revolutionary Guard was accused of being a spy 
  • Iran claims he sold intelligence on the Quds force and Soleimani to US and Israel 
  • Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike on Baghdad Airport on January 3 

Iran has executed a translator accused of being a US and Israeli spy who helped the US kill General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike. 

Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, a translator, was put to death on Monday, according to Iran’s judiciary website.

It comes a week after defence worker Reza Asgari was put to death after being accused of selling secret information about Iran’s missile program to the US. 


Mahmoud Mousavi Majd (left), a translator who worked with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, has been executed for helping the US carry out the raid which killed Qassem Soleimani (right)

Majd had been found guilty of receiving large amounts of money from the CIA and Mossad to supply information on the Quds force, which Soleimani headed, including the whereabouts of its commander.

However, Majd was not directly involved in the killing of Soleimani at Baghdad airport on January 3, having been arrested two years ago. 

Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike moments after he arrived in Iraq amid fears he was about to orchestrate attacks on the US embassy.   

The move brought Iran and the US to the brink of war, and in the end Tehran retaliated by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq.

While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain Al-Asad left no US soldiers dead, dozens of them suffered brain trauma. 

President Donald Trump opted against responding militarily.

Amid sky-high tensions, Iran accidentally shot down a passenger jet while mistaking it for an American warplane, killing 176 people – mostly Iranians. 

Majd had migrated to Syria in the 1970s with his family and worked as an English and Arabic language translator at a company, Iran’s judiciary website claimed.

When war broke out, he chose to stay in the country while his family left.

‘His knowledge of Arabic and familiarity with Syria’s geography made him close to Iranian military advisers and he took responsibilities in groups stationed from Idlib to Latakia,’ the site added. 

Soleimani was killed in a drone strike on Baghdad airport on January 3 (pictured), almost causing a war between Iran and the US

Majd was not a member of the Revolutionary Guards ‘but infiltrated many sensitive areas under the cover of being a translator’.

He was found to have been paid ‘American dollars to reveal information on adviser convoys, military equipment and communication systems, commanders and their movements, important geographical areas, codes and passwords’ until he came under scrutiny and his access was downgraded.

He was arrested in October 2018, Mizan Online said.

Iran said last week it had executed another man convicted of spying for the CIA by selling information about Iran’s missile programme.

Reza Asgari had worked at the defence ministry’s aerospace division for years but retired four years ago, after which he sold ‘information he had regarding our missiles’ to the CIA in exchange for large sums of money.

Iran in February handed down a similar sentence for Amir Rahimpour, another man convicted of spying for the US and conspiring to sell information on Iran’s nuclear programme.

Tehran announced in December it had arrested eight people ‘linked to the CIA’ and involved in nationwide street protests that erupted the previous month over a surprise petrol price hike.

It also said in July 2019 that it had dismantled a CIA spy ring, arrested 17 suspects between March 2018 and March 2019 and sentenced some of them to death.

Trump at the time dismissed the claim as ‘totally false’. 

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