Iran detains 'Israeli spies on terror mission'

Group said to have crossed border with Iraqi Kurdistan


Tehran city skyline with Iranian flag and Milad Tower (Borj-e Milad landmark, hight 435 m.), seen from northern Theran. Due to heavy traffic and dense population (ca. 15 million) this capital city suffers almost daily from a yellow layer of smog.

A group of alleged Israeli spies working for Mossad has been arrested in Iran, the country’s state media has claimed.

The Islamic Republic’s Intelligence Ministry said the “Zionist regime’s agents” had been sent to carry out acts of terror, but were arrested before they could act.

They are said to have entered the country through Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region bordering Iran.

The Intelligence Ministry statement added that the Israeli network was equipped with communications equipment and explosive devices. It said that they intended to carry out acts of sabotage and “unprecedented terrorist activities” at a range of pre-determined targets. 

It is unclear if the alleged spy network is linked to the 21 June arrests in Iran of three individuals accused of working for Mossad.

Speaking to the Middle East news website Al-Monitor, Mehdi Shamsabadi, a prosecutor in the south-eastern city of Zahedan, said the trio had been tasked with the assassination of nuclear scientists. He added that they "showed absolutely no objection to their arrest warrants”.

At least five Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed since 2010 in attacks blamed on Israel by Iran in a prolonged campaign designed to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing atomic weapons. 

In May, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was shot dead near his home in Tehran.

In November 2020, leading Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was shot dead by a one-ton automated gun that was allegedly smuggled into the country piece by piece by Mossad.

Israeli analysts reportedly concluded that his death had extended the period of time it would take Iran to achieve a bomb from about three-and-a-half months to two years.

Long-running tensions between Jerusalem and Tehran have escalated precipitously in the last few years, with Israel repeatedly striking Iranian targets in Syria and Iran accused of planning attacks on Israeli citizens abroad, most recently in Turkey.

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