“He had shared information about the whereabouts of martyr Soleimani with our enemies.”
Iran announced Tuesday that a man it says spied on the slain Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleiman on behalf of American and Israeli intelligence has been sentenced to death.
Iranian officials emphasized, however, that the alleged asset’s ‘passing information’ on Soleimani’s whereabouts in the past was not directly connected to the IRGC commander’s Jan. 3rd death by US drone strike in Baghdad. Yet it does strongly suggest US and Israeli intelligence were able to infiltrate circles close to Soleimani, likely a factor in his death.
“Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, one of the spies for the CIA and the Mossad, has been sentenced to death… He had shared information about the whereabouts of martyr Soleimani with our enemies,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on state TV.
“All the legal proceedings in the case of this spy … had been carried out long before the martyrdom of Soleimani,” the statement underscored, describing his arrest in October 2018 after contact with foreign intelligence agencies was supposedly uncovered.
Over the past year Tehran has made multiple announcements of busting up spy networks being run by the Mossad and CIA, including claims last summer of detaining “17 spies working for the CIA” — some of which were sentenced to death, though few details are known.
Previously Iran said Western intelligence was trying to penetrate facilities related to its nuclear program. This week’s announced death sentence is perhaps the first time someone stood specifically charged with passing information related to the late Quds force leader Soleimani.
It reveals something interesting: that the Iranians are no doubt actively looking for spy networks which had involvement in tracking Gen. Soleimani, or may have helped US-Israeli intelligence with the assassination.
Recall that beginning two years ago Israeli defense and intelligence officials became increasingly vocal about putting a target on Soleimani’s back, essentially giving the ‘green light’ to taking him out if the opportunity presented itself.
However, Soleimani traveled as a diplomat or foreign dignitary, thus it didn’t appear he was overly cautious or expected the Americans to act so brazenly. Hence his entourage had passed through Baghdad International Airport essentially out in the open, which provided the opportunity for the Trump-ordered drone strike on a road leading out of the airport.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.