On Iran’s “National Nuclear Day” or “Day of the Atom”, former nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian was given a two-year suspended jail sentence, and a five-year ban on being named to foreign policy or diplomatic positions, on the grounds that he had harmed national security.
Mousavian was a former Iranian Ambassador to Germany, and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. He also enjoyed and actively participated in international meetings of academic and security officials, both before and after the election of Iran’s current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Mousavian worked as a deputy to Hassan Rowhani, both when he was Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator under former President Khatami, and when he headed a research institute under former President Rafsanjani.
Mousavian was arrested a year ago, and released several weeks later. Ahmadinejad opposed the release.
A court decision later cleared Mousavian of espionage charges, but Ahmadinejad then made statements saying he believed Mousavian had acted as a “spy”, and urging Mousavian’s prosecution and punishment.
The sentence imposed yesterday appears to be only slightly more severe than the original court decision last year, when Mousavian was acquitted of spying for foreign powers, but convicted of “working against the regime”.
After that decision, the Iranian state prosecutor then appealed the judicial exoneration of Mousavian, and ordered a new probe.
AFP reported that “His sentencing appears to have finally brought the case to a close. [Mousavian lawyer] Pour Babaie confirmed that Moussavian had been acquitted of espionage charges and was issued with a legal document confirming that the investigation against him had been concluded…Pour Babaie said that Moussavian could still serve in state bodies for the next five years and was only banned from posts concerning foreign policy or diplomacy”.