Azerbaijan Court Convicts 3 Over Plan to Murder Jews, Ties Plot to Iran Official

Plot's leader says in interview that Iran contracted the men to perpetrate the attack as a reprisal for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear physicist.

Three people have been convicted of plotting to kill teachers at a Jewish school in Azerbaijan.

A court in the capital Baku on Thursday found plot ringleader Rasim Aliyev and two other Azerbaijani citizens guilty of plotting the assassination of public officials and gun-smuggling. Aliyev was given a 14-year sentence while the others received 13 and eight years.

Investigators said Aliyev was hired to carry out the killings in Baku by an individual linked to security services in neighboring Iran.

Aliyev said in a televised confession that the attack was to be a reprisal against Israel for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear physicist.

Ties between Azerbaijan - which has good relations with Western governments - and Iran have soured substantially over the past year amid mutual accusations of espionage.