Iran ‘executes ex-defense employee accused of spying for US’

Iran 'executes ex-defense employee accused of spying for US'

June 22, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Iran has hanged a CIA informer said to be a former member of the military unit that downed the US drone on Thursday.

Jalal Hajizavar was a contract employee for Tehran’s aerospace organization, according to reports on Saturday.

He left his post nine years ago and was convicted by a military court after an investigation which discovered documents and spying equipment at his home, according to the IRIB news agency.

It claims he was executed at the Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, west of Tehran.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump says he will impose additional sanctions on Iran in an effort to prevent the country from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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The US president, who spoke to reporters at the White House before leaving for Camp David, said: “In some cases we are going slowly, but in other cases we are moving rapidly.”

He had earlier considered military action after Iran shot down a US drone, but decided against it at the last minute.

Although he later said on Saturday, that military action “is always on the table” against Iran.

But he also indicated he was open to reversing the escalation, adding he was willing to quickly reach a deal with Iran, that he said would bolster the country’s flagging economy.

He said: “We will call it ‘let’s make Iran great again’.”

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted a map with detailed coordinates, which he said showed the drone was within the Islamic Republic’s territorial waters.

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It also revealed two yellow squares on the flight path of the drone which, according to the map, indicate Iranian radio warnings sent to the drone.

Dr Andrew Murrison, the UK’s minister of state for the Middle East, will head to Iran on Sunday and demand a de-escalation of tension in the region.

He will also discuss worries over Iran’s threat to stop complying with its nuclear deal.

The Foreign Office said the visit was an “opportunity for further open, frank and constructive engagement”.

However, Iran’s civil aviation organisation said on Saturday that the country’s airspace was safe for airlines to fly through.

Iran 'executes ex-defense employee accused of spying for US'

The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order on Thursday prohibiting US operators from flying in overseas areas of Tehran-controlled airspace.

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Some international airlines are taking related precautions, with Etihad Airways suspending operations over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

In a statement, the airline said it would use alternative flight paths on a number of routes to and from Abu Dhabi “until further notice”.

It added: “These changes will cause delays on some departures from Abu Dhabi, due to increased congestion in available airspace, and will increase journey times on some routes.

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“The safety of our passengers and staff is the highest priority for Etihad Airways, and we are continually engaging with regulatory authorities and conducting our own risk assessments to ensure that our standards are not compromised.”

Iran 'executes ex-defense employee accused of spying for US'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there has to be a solution on Iran and that the issue would be discussed, at least bilaterally, at the G20 summit later this month.

American Lebanese academic Fawaz Gerges said a “diplomatic opening” could be on the horizon, if Mr Trump was to relax some of the sanctions against Iran.

He added that Britain, France and Germany were trying to prevent war.

He said: “Make no doubt about it – a war with Iran will not be limited to Iran. It will spread near and wide. It will spread to Saudi Arabia, it will spread to Israel, it will spread to Iraq, it will spread to Lebanon, and it will spread to Yemen.

“War with Iran will be more catastrophic than the war with Iraq in 2003.

“This is an area that floats on an ocean of gas and oil. Think about it, thousands of long-range missiles flying around oil and gas facilities in the Gulf – imagine the devastation.”

Mary Greeley News

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