Israeli Convicted of Selling Weapons to Iran Released From Prison Early

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Nahum Manbar, an Israeli imprisoned for assisting Iran in developing chemical weapons, will be released after serving 14 and a half years in prison. This was the third time Manbar had requested to be released early.

Manbar was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 1997 after he was convicted of harming state security and selling information and supplies to create chemical weapons to Iran.

Manbar, who was born on Kibbutz Givat Haim, near Hadera, fled Israel in the 1980s after being convicted of fraud. He closed several weapons deals with Iran while living in Poland and made plans for larger deals, like selling Iran Soviet-made tanks, that were never carried out.

The arms deals brought Manbar into contact with those responsible for Iran's missile and chemical weapons programs. After several meetings with them, primarily in Vienna,
Manbar agreed to supply Iran with more than 120 tons of chemical material, which could be used to make chemical weapons. His deals with Iran are said to have made Manbar tens of millions of dollars.

Manbar told the Shin Bet security service he was trying to get information about missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad in an attempt to provide himself with an alibi. However, the security forces warned him to break ties with Iran, instructions he failed to heed.

Nahum ManbarCredit: Moti Kimche