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Iran executes four individuals accused of spying for Mossad

It followed Tehran's mid-December execution of a fifth accused Israeli spy.

An illustration of an Iranian ballistic missile. Credit: Allexxandar/Shutterstock.
An illustration of an Iranian ballistic missile. Credit: Allexxandar/Shutterstock.

Iran executed four people on Friday, including a woman, accused of being “saboteurs” with links to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, said the Mizan news agency affiliated with the judiciary.

The executions added up to a total of five people put to death this month in a decades-long shadow war that has seen Iran accuse Israel of attacks on its nuclear program, charges the Jewish state has neither confirmed nor denied.

“Four members of a sabotage team associated with the Zionist regime … were executed this morning following legal procedures,” the news agency said, accusing them of “extensive” actions, guided by Mossad officers, targeting Iran’s security.

The executions on Dec. 29 in West Azerbaijan province followed Iran’s mid-December execution of a fifth accused Mossad agent in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency identified the four individuals as Vafa Hanareh, Aram Omari and Rahman Parhazo, along with the woman, Nasim Namazi. They were accused in a case that involved 10 offenders, it added, but it was not immediately clear if the others would also face execution.

The official IRNA news agency posted a video clip nearly eight minutes in length that showed the men confessing to their alleged cooperation with a Mossad officer in neighboring Turkey, who used two names: Tony and Arash.

It said their mission entailed kidnappings, threatening and setting fire to vehicles and homes of unnamed targets, and stealing their mobile phones. Iranian intelligence put the group under close surveillance for at least four months, from around January 2022 until their arrest sometime that May, when they were “transferred from a neighboring country” to Iran, the video clip showed.

“They were training us for bigger assignments,” an unidentified young man in a blue-striped shirt said in the video clip. At the time of the arrests, Iranian media said the 10, who were in video communication with Mossad officers, “set fire to cars and homes of people affiliated with the security apparatus and received cash for taking photos they sent to Mossad agents.”

Iran has accused Israel of carrying out several attacks on facilities linked to its nuclear program and of killing nuclear scientists in the past years.

In August, Iran accused Israel of being behind “one of the largest sabotage plots” targeting its defense industry and the production of missiles. 

In July, its intelligence ministry said it had arrested a network of agents working for Israel before they were able to carry out sabotage in sensitive locations.

In April 2021, Tehran blamed an act of “nuclear terrorism” for a disruption of power at its Natanz uranium-enrichment facility in the desert in the central province of Isfahan.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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