Iran President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.Reuters

Iran has executed a former employee of the defence minister who was convicted of spying on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, the country's judiciary said Tuesday. It was the second such execution in the past month

Reza Asgari, a former employee of the ministry of defence, had sold information about Iran's missile programme to the CIA and was executed last week, judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaili said, according to Mizan.

"In the last years of his service, he joined the CIA, he sold information about our missiles ... to the CIA and took money from them," Esmaili said. "He was identified, tried and sentenced to death." Occasionally Iran announces arrests and convictions of alleged spies for foreign countries, including the US and Israel.

Identified, tried and sentenced to death: Second execution since June

In June, Iran said another alleged spy, Jalal Hajizavar, was hanged in a prison near Tehran. The report said Hajizavar — also a former staffer of the defense ministry — had admitted in court that he was paid to spy for the CIA.

The report said authorities had also confiscated espionage equipment from his residence. It said the court sentenced Hajizavar''s wife to 15 years in prison for her role in the espionage. Before that, in 2016, Iran executed a nuclear scientist convicted of spying for the United States.