By Syed Zafar Mehdi
TEHRAN, Iran (AA) - Four Iranians accused of intelligence cooperation with Israel were executed on Sunday, less than a week after Iran's apex court upheld their death penalty.
Mizan News, affiliated with the country's judiciary, announced that the sentences were carried out in the wee hours of the morning.
The individuals were charged with "destroying private and public property, kidnappings and obtaining false confessions", according to the judiciary.
They were identified as Hossein Ordukhanzadeh, Shahin Imani Mahmoudabad, Milad Ashrafi Atbatan, and Manouchehr Shahbandi Bejandi.
Three other accused in the case were given jail terms ranging between 5 and 10 years on charges of "crime against the country's security, aiding in kidnapping and possession of weapons".
Iran’s state media, citing judiciary officials, said these men were arrested in a joint operation by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the intelligence ministry in June this year.
Four of them were sentenced to death by a lower court, which was subsequently challenged in the supreme court. The top court last week upheld the verdicts, paving the way for their executions.
It comes amid widespread protests across Iran in recent months triggered by the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of morality police.
Iran has often in recent years accused arch-foe Israel of carrying out espionage and sabotage acts at key nuclear, military and industrial facilities through local agents.
Tensions between the two countries escalated after top Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed in an operation on the outskirts of Tehran in November 2022, which Tehran blamed on Israel.
Israel has also accused Iran's intelligence services of plotting attacks on Israeli citizens in foreign countries.