The latest arrest report is the third of its kind to be announced by the Iranian intelligence ministry since March. The next recent occurrence took place on June 14, when state media announced the arrest of a group of “thugs and hooligans” who were recruited by Mossad for kidnapping and assassination operations.
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) disclosed in a Saturday memo that state authorities have confiscated weapons, explosives and other equipment belonging to detained members of an alleged Israeli spy network.
“This network’s members were in contact with [Israel’s] Mossad spy agency through a neighbouring country and entered Iran from [Iraq’s] Kurdistan region with advanced equipment and strong explosives,” read the official state media report.
The Mossad-linked agents were engaged by Iranian authorities after they entered the country from the Kurdistan region in northern Iran with the intent of carrying out “acts of sabotage and unprecedented terrorist operations in sensitive locations.”
“All of them were captured,” read the report. “And their weapons, explosives, technical and communications equipment were entirely discovered and confiscated.”
The intended scale of the network’s alleged plots remains a mystery, as the report did not state how many were arrested in the network roundup.
The nationalities of the detainees were not disclosed.
This comes nearly a month after IRNA reported authorities’ arrest of criminals who previously engaged in human and weapons trafficking, but were later recruited by a Mossad agent with the alias Sirous.
The recruits were tasked with abducting Iranian officials and carrying out Iran-based assassinations for the Israeli intelligence agency.
Sirous, who was also detained by Iranian authorities, contacted the recruits via social media to deliver marching orders and present offers based in US dollars.
During one attack, the individuals kidnapped “a Jihadi official linked to the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps]” and took the man out to a mud hut in the suburbs of Tehran, per official state media.
Recruits then reportedly threatened and tortured the victim “to make false confessions” on camera about matters “not related to his specialized field of work.”
**By Evan Craighead