US spy executed

According to the Iranian IRIB news network, Jalal Hajizavar, a former Iranian aviation contract worker, was executed several days ago for spying for the United States. IRIB says that spying equipment and paperwork were found in his home. The IRIB says that he had confessed to working for the CIA. His former wife was jailed for fifteen years for assisting him.

He had not worked for the state for nine years. The IRIB says that his motive was financial, but it is unlikely that it was this alone. The penalties for espionage are so high in Iran that there usually has to be more motivation than simply money. Most recruits are ideologically opposed the regime. But of course the Iranian news agency dares not admit this.

It is believed that Hajizavar was recently picked up together with several other US agents. This suggests either a turncoat or some sort of breach in agent communications as happened to the British SIS in Moscow in 2006. In April, the Iranians claimed that they had rounded up a number of spies, some working for the British SIS and some for the American CIA. There were rumours in intelligence circles that this breakthrough had been made thanks to communications intelligence passed to the Iranians by the Russians. Either way, it is quite a coup for Iranian security forces.

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