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Iran Executes One ‘spy,’ Arrests Another


Iran executed a man it accused of spying for Israel and arrested another.

Iranian media reported Saturday that Ali Ashtari, an electronics salesman, was hanged Nov. 17. Iranian state television broadcast undated video of Ashtari, 45, confessing to spying for Israel.

Accusations included sharing with Israel information on defense and nuclear research in Iran. Israel has denied all knowledge of Ashtari.

Also reported was the arrest of Hossein Derakshan, a Canadian Iranian who pioneered blogging in Iran and was called the “blogfather” there. Derakshan was a backer of the theocracy in Iran, but believed it should reach out to Israel. He visited the Jewish state in 2006 and wrote about it on his blog.

Derakshan returned to his native Iran from his adoptive Canada last month and various media reported his arrest this week. A Web site reported that Derakshan confessed to spying for Israel.

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