'4 convicted in alleged US-backed plot'

Iranian news agency: 4 sentenced, jailed in plot to topple government supposedly supported by CIA.

Four Iranians have been convicted and sentenced in an alleged US-backed plot to topple the government, the country's official news agency reported Saturday. The IRNA news agency said Teheran's Revolutionary Court sentenced the four to jail on charges of trying to overthrow the Islamic government with the alleged support of the US State Department and the CIA. The report quoted a court statement as saying the Iranians are now in jail, but did not provide any further details, including the length of the sentences or the men's names. On Tuesday, a judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, said the four were detained and tried in Teheran. He said they planned to recruit others to be trained in anti-Iranian activities abroad. In related news, an Israeli national was arrested last month for holding contacts with an Iranian agent and passing information on to an enemy state, police revealed on Thursday. On December 22, the police's Serious and International Crimes Unit arrested Mauricio Segel and handed him over to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for questioning. Segel told his interrogators that during a stay in Argentina in 2006, he had repeatedly made contact with an Iranian diplomat at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires. Segel offered to pass on information to the Iranians in exchange for a financial reward. He provided the Iranians with copies of his passport and his Israeli ID card after removing his personal details from the documents. According to police, Segel went as far as offering to fetch information on another Israeli citizen on behalf of the Iranians. Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.