Iran claims it hanged CIA, Mossad spies
May 20, 2013 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
- Iran says the men were providing classified material to foreign intelligence agencies
- There were no comments from Israeli or U.S. officials
- One rights group says Iran hanged 488 people in one 12-month period
- Iran still holds former U.S. Marine it says was spying for the CIA
(CNN) -- Two men who the Iranian government said worked as spies for Israel and the United States were hanged Sunday morning, according to Iranian state news outlet Press TV.
The men were identified as Mohammad Heidari and Kourosh Ahmadi. Press TV said Heidari provided classified information to Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and Ahmadi had been convicted of providing the CIA with intelligence.
There were no details on when the men were arrested or when they were tried. The hangings occurred at dawn, the report said.
Israeli officials didn't comment on the report.
Uncertainty in Iranian elections
The U.S. State Department acknowledged seeing the reports but had no comment. The CIA didn't immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.
The advocacy group Human Rights Activists News Agency, based in Iran, estimated in 2012 that there were 488 hangings in the prior 12 months. About 12% of those were public executions, the group said, according to a State Department report.
One person hanged in 2012 was Majid Jamali Fashi, who was convicted of killing an Iranian scientist. Iran said Israel paid him $120,000 to kill elementary-particle physicist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi.
Iran also has blamed the United States and the United Kingdom for attacks against nuclear scientists.
Iran's enrichment of uranium has been one of the most contentious issues in nuclear talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries -- the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany. Iran has denied that it aims to build a nuclear bomb, claiming its nuclear program is for energy and medical use.
Iran also holds a former U.S. Marine, Amir Hekmati, who was detained in August 2011 while visiting his grandmother. Iranian authorities accused him of spying for the CIA, a charge his family and the Obama administration deny.
Originally he was sentenced to death during a closed-door trial, but that conviction was overturned, and the Arizona native awaits a new trial.
CNN's Michael Schwartz contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 2001 GMT (0401 HKT)
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0655 GMT (1455 HKT)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories