Middle East

Iran executes man on charges of spying for US

Map showing the location of Karaj in Iran

Iran has executed a former defence ministry employee on charges of spying for the US, state media report.

Jalal Hajizavar was convicted by a military court after spying equipment and documents were found at his home, according to the IRIB news agency.

He reportedly worked as a contractor for the defence ministry's aerospace organisation but left the role nine years ago.

It comes at a time of escalating tensions between the US and Iran.

Mr Hajizavar was reportedly executed several days ago at the Rajaishahr prison in Karaj, near to the capital Tehran. He had "openly confessed and accepted spying for the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] and receiving money in return", IRIB reports.

His ex-wife has been jailed for 15 years on espionage charges.

On Tuesday, Iran said it had dismantled an espionage network linked to the CIA and had arrested a number of spies, but it is not clear whether this is connected to the execution of Mr Hajizavar.

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Media captionWhy does the Strait of Hormuz matter?

Tensions between the two countries spiked after the US blamed Iran for recent attacks on oil tankers operating in the Strait of Hormuz.

On Thursday, an unmanned US drone was shot down in the region. Tehran says it entered Iranian airspace but the US maintains it was shot down in international airspace.

US President Donald Trump has said he does not want war with Iran but warned it it would face "obliteration" if conflict broke out.

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