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Tehran's chief prosecutor on Tuesday claimed that a renowned Iranian-Canadian environmentalist who died in prison in Iran was part of an espionage network set up by the Israeli Mossad and the CIA, AFP reports.

Kavous Seyed Emami, 63, a renowned professor and founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, was buried on Tuesday in the village of Ammami, north of Tehran.

Officials say he committed suicide in his prison cell after being arrested along with seven members of his NGO.

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi claimed the NGO was set up "about a decade ago" as a cover to collect "classified information in defense and missile fields".

"Defendants in the case, under the guidance of the CIA and Mossad intelligence officers, have pursued a triple mission focused on the environment, infiltrating the scientific community and collecting information from the country's sensitive and vital centers including missile bases," he was quoted by AFP as having said.

He said Emami was one of the main contacts for U.S. agents and an intelligence officer had stayed at his home.

"Members of this network installed cameras in strategic areas under cover of monitoring the environment, while in fact monitoring the country's missile activities," Dolatabadi claimed.

One of the NGO's key projects was monitoring the endangered Asian cheetah, which meant they operated across large swathes of Semnan province, which is home to military sites and missile-testing grounds.

Iran, which does not recognize dual citizenships, regularly accuses individuals of being Israeli or American spies.

Most recently, a university professor was sentenced to death after being found guilty of passing information about two Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel's Mossad intelligence agency that led to their assassinations.

Iranian state television in December aired what it described as the confessions of the professor, Ahmadreza Djalali. In those “confessions”, the professor was linked to the assassination of four Iranian scientists between 2010 and 2012 that Tehran said was an Israeli attempt to sabotage its nuclear energy program.

In June of 2012, Iran claimed to have dismantled a terrorist and sabotage network in the southern city of Shiraz, which allegedly planned bombings and assassination attempts during Iran’s presidential election.

The network had links with the CIA, Israel and some neighboring Arab nations, Iran claimed at the time.

In a previous incident, Iran executed Majid Jamali Fashi after convicting him of spying for the Mossad and of playing a key role in the January 2010 assassination of a top nuclear scientist in return for a payment of $120,000.