Shadow war: Iran claims it broke Israeli Mossad plot to kill nuclear scientist

The protracted shadow war between Israel and Iran took a new twist this week, with Tehran claiming to have arrested Israeli intelligence agents plotting to assassinate more Iranian nuclear scientists.

While Israel remained silent on the development and Iran did not provide the names or nationalities of those arrested, a judicial official in the country was quoted by Iranian state media as saying those arrested were “agents” of Israel’s Mossad secret service

“The arrest of these Mossad operatives follows a complex intelligence operation that lasted eight months,” Prosecutor-General Mehdi Shamsabad of Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan provinces was quoted as saying on Tuesday. of.”

For years, Iran and Israel have accused each other of spying and waging a shadow war. Israel sees Iran as its biggest threat and has repeatedly threatened military action against Tehran’s nuclear facilities and top scientists to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The secret war has seen several mysterious assassinations, including the deaths of several Iranian nuclear scientists over the years. One of the more prominent incidents occurred in 2012, when attackers on motorcycles planted a magnetic bomb on a car carrying top Iranian nuclear scientists through Tehran. The explosion killed the scientist and made global headlines.

Shadow wars have swept the international media again in 2020, with another Iranian scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known by Western officials as the leader of the Islamic Republic’s disbanded military nuclear program, in his office on the outskirts of Tehran. Killed in an ambush.

At the time of the 2020 killings, Iran’s foreign minister claimed it was a “serious sign” of Israel’s role.

Israel, which has long been suspected of being involved in the killings, has not officially commented on the allegations. Before Mr Fahrizadeh’s death, however, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had told the public to “remember the name” when referring to the scientist’s activities in Iran.

In an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett vowed to make Iran “pay the price” for attacks on the Jewish state, either directly or through proxies.

“It turns out these people are more vulnerable than they seem,” Mr Bennett said. “The Iranian regime is corrupt, corrupt – and incompetent.”

There are far more questions than answers about the latest developments in the alleged arrest of Israeli agents.

Iran’s Mehr news agency claimed that Mossad operatives were allegedly arrested by Iranian authorities two months ago in a case related to the leak of information and documents about Iran’s nuclear program. One of those arrested was a woman serving in the Iranian government, the news agency said.

Iran has a history of arresting individuals from other countries, including from the United States, which it claims are foreign spies without providing evidence. But there are also signs that many members of Iran’s own military have also been arrested on suspicion of espionage.

A BBC report in February outlined concerns among Iranian intelligence officials that Mossad operatives had infiltrated top officials of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Sources accused of foreign espionage are being held in a secure ward in Tehran’s Evan prison, where dozens of senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders are being held, told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have cited their own efforts to prevent Iranian agents from infiltrating Israel’s military and intelligence services.

In January, Israel said it had busted an Iranian spy ring that used social media to recruit Israeli women to film sensitive locations, gather intelligence and encourage their sons to join Israel’s military intelligence service.

• This story is based in part on a Telegram service report.

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