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  • Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri flashes the victory sign as he arrives at the Imam Khomini Airport in Tehran on July 15, 2010.

    Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri flashes the victory sign as he arrives at the Imam Khomini Airport in Tehran on July 15, 2010. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 August 2016

The scientist was working for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization before he disappeared in Saudi Arabia in 2009.

Iran executed a government nuclear scientist who was accused of spying for the United States, a spokesperson for the judiciary said on Sunday.

Shahram Amiri, a university researcher working for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2009, later surfacing in the United States.

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He returned to Iran 14 months later and was afforded a hero's welcome—before he was arrested, tried and convicted on charges of treason.

"Through his connection with the United States, Amiri gave vital information about the country to the enemy," Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said at a news conference, state news agency IRNA reported.

"The U.S. intelligence service was outwitted by Iran in this case as it assumed that all of its moves would remain hidden from our intelligence service,” he said, adding that Iran's Supreme Court upheld Amiri’s death sentence on appeal.

His sentence was carried out earlier this week, according to reports. A U.S. official said in 2010 that Washington had received "useful information" from Amiri.

In 2009, Iran accused the CIA of kidnapping Amiri, but U.S. officials said he had been free to come and go as he pleased, and that he may have returned to the Islamic Republic because of pressures on his family there.

Amiri had denied this, saying "my family had no problems." In a video aired by Iranian state TV in 2010, Amiri said he had fled from U.S. agents.

Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers reached a landmark agreement last year, under which Iran will scale back its nuclear program to ensure it cannot develop nuclear weapons, in exchange, the U.S. would lift economic sanctions on the country.

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