Iran could be using the death penalty on several individuals who were arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States, according to state media Tuesday.
The announcement came less than two weeks after the regime reported it executed Jalal Haji Zawar, a former employee of the Ministry of Defense’s aerospace arm, after charges of spying for the U.S. CIA.
The suspects were arrested after allegedly spying for the U.S. “in military and nuclear bodies,” Reuters reported Tuesday, citing state media. (RELATED: Trump On Rising Iran Tensions: ‘No More John Kerry And Obama!’)
Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said several suspects were arrested less than a year ago and face possible death sentences, according to Iran state TV.
“Two of the defendants, who were not military, have received long prison terms,” Esmaili said.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalated after two oil tankers were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz on June 13 and a U.S. Navy drone was shot down June 20. President Donald Trump said he was planning to move forward with additional sanctions on Iran on June 22.
Iran came under scrutiny Monday for reportedly stockpiling more low-enriched uranium than allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal. (RELATED: Iran Surpasses Nuclear Fuel Stockpile Limit, State Media Reports)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on European countries to place sanctions on Iran for the alleged breach.
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