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Iran Broadcasts Alleged ‘Confessions’ of Swedish Researcher Sentenced to Death

Iran Broadcasts Alleged ‘Confessions’ of Swedish Researcher Sentenced to Death

Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 - 12:00
A flyer from a protest in February outside the Iranian Embassy in Brussels for Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian academic detained in Tehran and sentenced to death for espionage. PHOTO: AFP

Iran's state television broadcasted on Sunday a recorded video showing purported confessions of an Iranian university professor recently sentenced to death after being convicted of espionage for Israel's Mossad during nuclear talks with the West.

In the December 17 broadcast, Ahmadreza Djalali, a researcher at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, admits to supplying information to a foreign intelligence service about Iranian nuclear scientists who were later assassinated.

The tape included clips from an interview with Djalali occasionally intermixed with pictures of an archive accompanied by an announcer's voice that the Mossad had recruited. Jalali is described in the film as a "traitor," AFP reported.

His wife, speaking on phone from Stockholm, said he had been forced by his interrogators to read the confession.

Iran’s Supreme Court upheld last week a death sentence against Ahmadreza Djalali.

Vida Mehrannia, Djalali’s wife, said her husband had been forced to read a pre-agreed confession in front of the camera.

“After three months in solitary confinement, his interrogators told him that he would be released only if he reads from a text in front of the camera,” she told Reuters.

“My husband told me that they shouted at him each time he was saying something different from the text and stopped the filming,” Mehrannia added.

In the television report, Djalali was linked to the assassination of four Iranian scientists between 2010 and 2012 that Tehran said was an Israeli attempt to sabotage its nuclear energy program.

Djalali said in the report that he had given the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad information about key nuclear scientists.

”They were showing me pictures of some people or satellite photos of nuclear facilities and were asking me to give them information about that,” Djalali said in the television report.

He was accused of passing information to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service during the negotiations that led to Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.

After more than a decade of tensions with the West, Tehran in July 2015 signed a deal with world powers to curb its nuclear activity in exchange for the gradual lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

However, United States President Donald Trump called the pact an ‘embarrassment’ and said he would reconsider tough sanctions as Iran fails to comply.

In October, Trump declined to certify that Iran was complying with the nuclear agreement reached among Tehran, the United States and other powers in 2015. His decision triggered a 60-day window for Congress to decide whether to bring back sanctions on Iran.

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