Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, as he was identified by an Iranian judiciary spokesman, has been sentenced to capital punishment by a “revolutionary court.” The man, who is said to have worked for the CIA and Israel’s secret service Mossad, was a source of information on the location of Qassem Soleimani, a long-serving commander of Iran’s shadowy Quds Force.
General Soleimani, who rose to fame during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, led the Quds Force – the most secretive part of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps – from 1998 until his death in January 2020.
He was killed in a targeted missile strike while traveling from Baghdad Airport with a few of his aides and commanders of Iraq’s Shiite militias. Tehran vowed to avenge Soleimani’s killing even before his remains were laid to rest in his hometown of Kerman.
On January 8, Iran launched volleys of missiles at two bases that housed US troops on Iraqi soil. The assault, largely viewed as a warning sign from Tehran, caused damage to military hardware but inflicted no human casualties – although over 100 troops were later diagnosed with brain injuries, according to the Pentagon.
Tehran notified Baghdad before the attack, and the early warning was reportedly passed on to the US military.
Washington later defended the decision to assassinate Soleimani, insisting the general plotted attacks against American forces and had a “horrible past.” Nevertheless, the US’ own defense secretary admitted that he “didn’t see” any specific evidence to suggest those attacks were imminent.