File photo of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photograph:( Reuters )
'In recent months, five Iranians who were spying for foreign intelligence services have been arrested,' judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said in a virtual news conference.
Iranian authorities have arrested five Iranians on charges of spying for Israel, Britain and Germany, convicting and handing down prison sentences on at least two of them, the judiciary said on Tuesday.
"In recent months, five Iranians who were spying for foreign intelligence services have been arrested," judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said in a virtual news conference.
One of the convicts, Massud Mossaheb, had been "spying for (Israeli spy agency) Mossad and Germany in the guise" of the general secretary of the Austrian-Iranian Society.
Speaking to state television, he said the second man, Shahram Shirkhani, spied for British intelligence services and tried to recruit some Iranian officials for Britain's MI6 agency.
Shirkhani had passed on classified information about Iran's Central Bank and Defence Ministry contracts, he said. He has been convicted and received a prison sentence. He gave no details on the other three detainees.
In July, Iran executed Reza Asgari, a former defense ministry employee convicted of spying on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, and also Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, a member of the Revolutionary Guard convicted of providing information to the United States and Israel about the top Guard general who was later killed in a US Drone strike in Baghdad in January.
In June, Iran hanged Jalal Hajizavar, also a former staffer of the defense ministry, after he had admitted in court he was paid to spy for the CIA.
And in 2016, Iran executed a nuclear scientist convicted of spying for the United States.