Abbas Amir Entezam, Iranian Official Jailed as a Spy, Dies at 86

The former Iranian deputy prime minister Abbas Amir Entezam in 2008.

Abbas Amir Entezam, a former deputy prime minister of Iran who served 17 years in prison on charges of spying for the United States, died on Thursday at his home in Tehran. He was 86.

The cause was a seizure, his wife, Elaheh Amir Entezam, told the official IRNA news agency.

Mr. Entezam was the spokesman and deputy of Mehdi Bazargan, the first prime minister after the 1979 Islamic revolution. He also served as Iran’s ambassador to Sweden.

His arrest was based on documents seized from the United States Embassy when hard-liners stormed it at the height of the revolution.

He was accused of having contacts with the Central Intelligence Agency, passing information to “enemy agents” and conspiring with them and trying to block the Constitution that gave supreme power to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s revolutionary leader.

He was the first senior official of post-revolutionary Iran to face such charges.

Mr. Entezam a former businessman born in Tehran who imported electrical equipment, denied the allegations, saying the embassy documents were forgeries. His successor as ambassador to Sweden, Abdolrahim Govahi, backed him, saying that Mr. Entezam had “strongly defended the revolution and the leadership” of Ayatollah Khomeini.

In December 1979, Mr. Entezam was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He was released 17 years later.

Complete information on survivors was not immediately available.

Mr. Entezam was believed to have been the longest-serving political prisoner in Iran.

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