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'Israeli spy' hanged in Iran Monday

A man convicted in June of being an Israeli spy was hanged in Iran on November 17, though the execution was announced Saturday.

Ali Ashtari, a 47-year-old electronics salesman, was hanged after revolutionary courts determined he was leaking information concerning the Iranian atomic energy program to the Israel.

Al Jazeera reported that “A judiciary-issued statement said Ashtari had been working with Mossad - Israel's foreign intelligence service - for three years before he was arrested in 2006.?

According to CNN, “‘Evidence of Ashtari's crime was overwhelming,’ Iran's intelligence ministry director told Iran's state-run IRNA news agency.?

The execution comes at a tense time between the Israeli and Iranian governments. CNN reported that “Iran and Israel have been engaged in an escalating war of words. Iran accuses Israel of trying to destabilize the republic. Israel has not ruled out military action to halt Iran's nuclear aspirations.?

Though both Al Jazeera and CNN covered all the immediate details of the story, Al Jazeera contained much more coverage, including quotes issued in a confession statement by Ashtari.

Interestingly, both news sources put quotes around the term “confession?, indicating doubt that the confession was voluntary.