Iranian state television broadcasted what it claimed was the confession of Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian academic, who was sentenced to death for espionage in October, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFERL) reported Sunday.
According to the “confession” that was aired, Djalali had been approached by a foreign intelligence service, apparently the Mossad, while doing research in an unnamed European country. He had been recruited into that intelligence service and promised citizenship in return for his services.
The verdict against Djalali, according to Amnesty International, claims that he was working with Israel.
A narrator on the broadcast charged that Djalali had provided information on scientists Masoud Ali Mohammadi and Majid Shariari, both of whom were working on Iran’s nuclear program and were killed in 2010. It was also alleged that Djalali had met with the intelligence agents more than 50 times and was paid 2,000 Euros each time.
Amnesty International condemned the verdict, calling it “not only a shocking assault on the right to a fair trial but was also in utter disregard for Ahmadreza Djalali’s right to life.”
In February, European governments protested the treatment of Djalali.
Iran has refused to grant Djalali—who is a resident of Sweden—access to Swedish consular services.
Reuters reported in November that since the nuclear deal two years ago, Iran has arrested over 30 dual nationals, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen who was taken away from her toddler daughter and arrested as she prepared to leave Iran after visiting family in April 2016.
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson failed to secure Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release on a trip to Iran earlier this month. Iran is reportedly seeking payment from the UK for a canceled arms deal following the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, and even has a line item in its budget in anticipation of the British payment.
[Photo: Expressen TV / YouTube]