Correction: Our article on 16 May reported on speculation that the release by Wikileaks of a redacted cable from the US Embassy in Baku could have led to the hanging of Majid Jamali Fashi in Iran. We are happy to make clear that an unredacted version of the file published by Wikileaks in September 2011 confirms that Mr Fashi was not the individual described in the Baku cable.
A man hanged in Iran on Tuesday for allegedly murdering a nuclear scientist may have been implicated by an illegally leaked cable published by WikiLeaks.
It has been reported that Majid Jamali Fashi, a 24-year-old martial arts expert, was accused of killing Iranian scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi on behalf of Israel, only one month after the leaks website released a cable from the USA's Azerbaijani embassy implicating the involvement of someone with a vaguely similar description to Fashi.
According to experts, this may have given Iran the pretext to arrest Fashi, who had attended a kick-boxing tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan, only weeks before in August.
A year following the death of Dr Ali-Mohammadi, killed by a bomb outside his Tehran home in 2010, the Iranian authorities arrested 10 'spies' who they alleged had links to the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad.
Fashi's trial was then held in secret with the authorities not disclosing how they caught the 10 'spies', whose fates remain unknown.
Fashi was put on state television to confess to the murder of the scientist
The cable, dated 1 September 2009, revealed that a source, identified as an Iranian "licensed martial arts coach and trainer", told the US that Iran was pressuring martial arts clubs to teach the regime's guards and militia how to deal with protesters during the violence that broke out after the controversial re-election of President Ahmadinejad in 2009.
Birmingham University's Scott Lucas, a respected authority on Iran, told The Times: "It could have been used as a pretext against him; to set him up as a person who could take the fall for the assassination."
Another expert, Ali Ansari, who is head of the Institute for Iranian Studies, condemned the WikiLeaks release, saying: "I have always considered the release of the WikiLeaks files, without consideration for those consciously or unconsciously named in them, to be grotesquely irresponsible."
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