First Published: 2017-12-18

Iran airs "confessions" of researcher facing death for spying
Djalali’s wife says he was forced by his interrogators to read confession he had provided information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists.
Middle East Online

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin - LONDON

The film said Djalali had agreed to cooperate with Israel in return for money and residency of a European country

Iranian state television broadcast on Sunday what it described as the confessions of an Iranian academic with Swedish residency who it said had provided information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists.

His wife, speaking by telephone 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, a doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute, a Stockholm medical university.

Djalali was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and later convicted of espionage. He denied the charges.

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 programme.

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.

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 by telephone from Stockholm.

"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.

DEATH SENTENCE CRITICISED

The film said Djalali had agreed to cooperate with Israel in return for money and residency of a European country.

"We have not received money from anyone and our lifestyle shows that. We don't have a house or a car. We got our Swedish residency after finishing our studies here," Mehrannia said.

The film also contained interviews with Majid Jamali Fashi, an Iranian athlete who was hanged in 2012 over the killings of the nuclear scientists.

Djalali is the second person found guilty in the same case.

"Djalali did not have any sensitive information about Iran’s nuclear programme. If he had, he would have been barred from leaving the country," Mehrannia said.

Sweden has condemned the death verdict against Djalali and said it had raised the matter with Iranian envoys in Stockholm and Tehran.

Seventy-five Nobel prize laureates petitioned Iranian authorities last month to release Djalali so he could "continue his scholarly work for the benefit of mankind".

They said Djalali has suggested it was his refusal to work for Iranian intelligence services that led to this “unfair, flawed trial.”

The United Nations and international human rights organisations regularly list Iran as a country with one of the world’s highest execution rates.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested at least 30 dual nationals during the past two years, mostly on spying charges.

 

Sudan clamps down on journalists covering bread protests

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Tribal feuds spread fear in Iraq's Basra

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem

Cyprus denies bail for Israeli organ trafficker

Rising Yemen currency sparks hopes of relief

Turkish ministries to investigate underage pregnancy cover-up

Iraq PM launches online appeal for election allies

Iran central bank sees claim for billions from German stock market blocked

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop Kirkuk oil fields

Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin, kill Palestinian

HRW chief says 'Nobody should be forcibly returned to Libya'

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after 'liberation'

Seven years since ousting dictator, Tunisians still protest

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'

Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral ‘slap video’

Arab league slams US freeze of Palestinian funding

Dubai billionaire to sell 15 percent Damac stake

Britain to put women at heart of peace work in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan

Saudi to give Yemen government $2bn bailout

US withholds $65 million from UN agency for Palestinians