Iranian businessman tortured into saying he's an Israeli spy

He was accused of being involved in the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists

August 13, 2019 17:56
1 minute read.
An Iranian Officer of Revolutionary Guards with Israel flag drawn on his boots

An Iranian Officer of Revolutionary Guards, with Israel flag drawn on his boots, is seen during graduation ceremony, held for the military cadets in a military academy, in Tehran, Iran June 30, 2018. (photo credit: TASNIM NEWS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

A former Iranian businessman says he was tortured by Iranian authorities into a false confession of being an Israeli spy and killing Iranian nuclear scientists, according to BBC.

Mazyar Ebrahimi now lives in Germany.

In 2012, Ebrahimi and 12 others appeared on Iranian state television to confess to multiple charges that all carried the death penalty. The 13 looked into the camera and all said they had been trained in Israel before they returned to Iran and assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists.

The people were given a script to read written by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. The ministry also put out its own statement saying they dismantled an spy network created by the Zionist entity.

BBC's Jiyar Gol sat down with Ebrahimi to hear his story.

"The interrogators were hitting the soles of my bare feet with a thick electric cable," Ebrahimi said. "They broke my foot. The beating continued for seven months."  

He said he finally agreed to "confess" after being tortured around the clock for 40 days.

Before he was arrested, Mazyar Ebrahimi owned a company that set up TV studios, and he believes one of his competitors falsely accused him of spying.

Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated between 2010-2012 and the government wanted to find the culprits of the crime. More than 100 people were accused of being foreign spies.

Ebrahimi told the BBC that he was ready to admit to anything because he wanted to die.

His interrogators asked him to admit being behind a blast that destroyed a missile factory run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), killing multiple missile experts.

An IRGC intelligence officer began questioning Ebrahimi and realized there were multiple discrepancies between his testimony and the actual event.

Ebrahimi was given apologies by the Intelligence Ministry but remained in jail until 2015. After his release, Ebrahimi filed a complaint against newspapers, the Iranian state TV and against the Intelligence Ministry but withdrew the complaint.

He is now living in Germany, having sought asylum there six months ago.

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