Azerbaijan: 15 convicted of ties with Iranian agents passed Israeli secrets

Azerbaijan's security agency said Saturday that the 15 people convicted this week of treason and sedition had passed information on US, British and Israeli activities in the ex-Soviet republic to Iranian intelligence. The Court for Grave Crimes on Monday sentenced members of the "Said Group" to lengthy prison sentences in a case that highlighted Azerbaijan's concern over the influence of neighboring Iran. In a statement released Saturday, the National Security Ministry revealed new details about the group, which allegedly passed to Iranian agents details on Western embassies, companies, pipeline operations and employees operating in Azerbaijan in 2005-2006. Two members of the group met repeatedly with Iranian agents in Teheran and other cities where they received training, equipment, maps and instructions, more than US$10,000 in funding, the ministry said.