Amid US tensions, Iran executes 'defence ministry contractor' over spying for CIA

Iran executes 'US spy' who worked for defence ministry

Tehran said the drone was shot down over its territory and Washington said it occurred in global airspace.

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

He said that military action was still a possibility despite U-turning on military action because it could have killed what he said were estimates of 150 people at several Iranian sites.

According to IRNA's report, Zawar - who was dismissed from service in 2010 - had been charged for "spying for the Central Intelligence Agency", and that documents and equipment had been seized from his home during the course of the investigation.

The downing of the drone came after tensions spiked between the two countries following a series of attacks on oil tankers the USA has blamed on Iran. "A military mistake from the enemy, particularly from the USA and its regional allies, will be tantamount to firing at a powder keg on which are the United States and its interests, and it will set the region ablaze and burn up the U.S., its interests, and its allies".

"He was tortured severely", the rights group said, adding that Jamal's wife, Leila Tajik, has been sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment and is held at Kachouei prison of Tehran.

"We have enhanced our force posture in the region and I am here to deepen our cooperation with our allies to restore deterrence against Iran's attacks, to isolate Iran diplomatically and to build support for our efforts to reverse Iran's power projection", Mr Hook said.

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Pezeshkian also said the Islamic Republic, more than any other government, has been subject to terror and plots of overthrow, especially by the United States and its allies, Mehr reported.

Tehran repeated today that the drone was shot down over its territory.

Media captionWhy does the Strait of Hormuz matter?

The announcement came after major worldwide airlines - including British Airways, Australia's Qantas, Dutch carrier KLM, Germany's Lufthansa, Emirates, Malaysian Airlines, and Singapore Airlines - said a day earlier that they were suspending flights over the Strait of Hormuz.

"Iran will firmly confront any aggression or threat by America".

"We are putting additional sanctions on Iran", Mr Trump said.

The US special representative on Iran, Brian Hook, accused Tehran of rejecting diplomatic overtures to deescalate the crisis, saying "Iran needs to meet diplomacy with diplomacy, not military force".

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