Iranian Police Reportedly Arrest Members of Suspected Spy Network Affiliated to Israel

Five 'members of a spy network' suspected by Iran to be linked to Israel's secret services have been arrested just days after Iran said its security forces had arrested agents working for Israel

Reuters
Reuters
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A group of hardline students hold anti-Israel and anti-U.S. placards during their gathering to condemn President Biden's tour to the Middle East in Tehran, Iran, this month.
A group of hardline students hold anti-Israel and anti-U.S. placards during their gathering to condemn President Biden's tour to the Middle East in Tehran, Iran, this month.Credit: Vahid Salemi/AP
Reuters
Reuters

Iranian police have arrested the alleged leader and four other members of a spy network they claim is affiliated to Israel's secret services, according to a statement released on Thursday by the intelligence organization of Iran's law enforcement unit.

They did not specify the nationalities of those arrested but said they had received training for armed operations and sabotage.

The network's members were captured before they could carry out their plot, according to the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV station. They worked to gather intelligence for Israel in addition to spreading rumors against the Iranian regime.

"The arrested five members of this spy network were given various pledges from (Israel's) Mossad, including financial promises, to gather information from important areas across the country," the law enforcement intelligence organization said in a statement reported by the semi-official ILNA news agency.

In Israel, the Prime Minister's Office, which oversees the foreign intelligence agency Mossad, declined comment on the reported arrests.

On Wednesday, Iran's minister of intelligence Esmail Khatib said Tehran had foiled subversive actions from the "Zionist regime" – its term for Israel. Iranian security forces have successfully carried out a number of operations against Israel over the last few months, he said without specifying what they consisted of.

Last week, Iran said its security forces had arrested a network of agents working for Israel before they were able to carry out sabotage and "terrorist operations", state media reported. The announcement by Iran's Intelligence Ministry came amid heightening tensions with arch-enemy Israel over Tehran's nuclear program.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office, which oversees Mossad, declined to comment.

A day prior to Iran's announcement, Turkish authorities arrested two Iranian citizens suspected of planning to assassinate Israeli citizens on its soil, Turkey's Sabah newspaper reported Friday.

In June, Turkey arrested eight people accused of planning attacks against Israelis in the country. According to the report, only one suspect has been released so far.

Iran often accuses its enemies or rivals abroad, such as Israel, the United States and Saudi Arabia, of trying to destabilize the country.

The Intelligence ministry did not say how many people were arrested and did not divulge their nationality. The network planned "acts of sabotage and unprecedented terrorist operations in sensitive locations", its statement said, without giving details.

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