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Iran ex-nuclear negotiator acquitted of espionage charges

[JURIST] An Iranian court has acquitted Hossein Mousavian, a former key nuclear negotiator, of espionage charges [JURIST report] but convicted him of "propagating" against the Islamic government, judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said Tuesday. Mousavian was arrested in May on suspicions that he passed classified information to the British embassy and other foreigners. While the court suspended Mousavian's sentence, Mousavian could still face prison time if prosecutors object to the suspension. Mousavian is closely allied with former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [official website, in Persian; BBC profile], a political opponent of current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official profile, BBC profile].

Mousavian worked for the Foreign Policy Committee of the Supreme Council for National Security in Iran until 2005, under then-top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Larijani resigned [AFP report] in October due to alleged disagreement with Ahmadinejad, a move that many feared would further strengthen the president's control of nuclear policy. AP has more.

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