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Iran hangs man convicted of spying for Israel, reports say

Iran on Tuesday hanged an Iranian convicted of spying for the country's archenemy Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The report identified the man as Ali Akbar Siadati and said he was hanged in Tehran's Evin prison. Earlier in the week, Iran's judiciary announced that a spy for Israel would be executed soon after an appeals court confirmed the man's death sentence. It said the trial was held in the presence of his lawyer.

According to IRNA, Mr. Siadati began his alleged espionage activities in 2004 and was arrested in 2008 while planning to flee Iran. He was accused of providing Israel with classified information on Iran's military capabilities - including details about military maneuvers, bases, operational jet fighters, military flights, air crashes and missiles.

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There were no details on whether Mr. Siadati was a government employee or how he obtained the classified information. He allegedly met up with Israeli intelligence agents during trips to Turkey, Thailand and the Netherlands.

The report also said he had confessed to providing confidential information in return for $60,000, and to receiving up to $7,000 in every meeting with Israeli handlers.

There was no immediate comment on the execution from officials in Israel.

Espionage is punishable by death under Iranian law. Iran and Israel have been enemies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, with Tehran periodically announcing arrests of people suspected of spying for Israel.

In 2008, Iran executed Ali Ashtari, an electronics salesman who was convicted of relaying information on Iran's nuclear program and other sensitive data to Israel's Mossad spy agency.

And in 2000, a court convicted 10 Iranian Jews of spying for Israel in a closed-door trial and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from four to 13 years. All were released before serving out their full sentences after international pressure.

Iran faces increased pressure from the West over its controversial nuclear program that Israel, the United States and others contend is intended for nuclear weapons making. Tehran denies the charge, insisting the program is for peaceful purposes only, such as generating power.

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Israel, which considers Iran a strategic threat because of its nuclear program and missiles, has said it prefers to resolve the issue through diplomatic means but has not taken a military operation off the table.

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