Many Israelis Ready To Spy For Iran, IRGC Commander Says
By Radio Farda October 11, 2020
"Many people" in Israel have "a lot of motives" to cooperate with Tehran, said a top commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Reza Naghdi, on a TV show on Friday.
Naqdi expressed his claim nearly two years after a former Israeli minister was convicted of "espionage" for Iran.
Naqdi went even further by boasting that the clergy-dominated Iran was "closer to Israel" than "imagined" and that one day, it would "suddenly fall apart."
In August 2019, the Islamic Republic Minister of Intelligence, Mahmoud Alavi, also claimed in a TV show that an Israeli cabinet member had been "under control" of his agents.
Alavi, a black-turbaned cleric, was referring to the case of Israel's former Minister of Energy, Gonen Segev.
64-year-old Segev, who held the portfolio for the minister of energy and infrastructure from 1995 to 1996, was sentenced to ten years in prison for "espionage and transfer of information to an enemy country" in an Israeli court.
Israel announced Segev had been in contact with Iranian embassy officials in Nigeria, where he lived as a physician. Later, Segev traveled to Iran twice, using his German passport.
In the heat of the information and intelligence war between Tel Aviv and Tehran, the Israeli security service in recent years has reportedly arrested several Palestinians and other Arabs for allegedly "collaborating," and "spying" for Iran.
There have also been reports of the arrest of spies affiliated with the Israeli government in Iran.
In May 2015, a Paris-based member of "Iranian National-Religious Coalition," Reza Alijani, wrote in a report on the Rooz Online website that the heads of the Israeli desk at Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC's fearsome Intelligence Organization had been "arrested on charges of spying for Israel."
"In the office of Sardar Naqdi, two Israeli spies were identified and arrested. One of them later executed, the two were in prison with some political prisoners," a fundamentalist website in Iran, Alif, cited a pro-reform former Minister, Behzad Nabavi, as saying October 2019.
However, Naqdi denied the existence of "spies in his office collaborating with Israel" and said that he would file a legal suit against Alif, though no report has been published yet.
Naqdi has also referred to the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist and other Israeli-attributed operations against Iran's atomic program. Secret terrorist assassinations occur everywhere, Naqdi said, but threatened, "If they (Israel) take any action against the Islamic Republic's national security, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be burned down to ashes."
Israeli government officials, who see Iran's nuclear program and its regional presence as a "vital threat" to their country, refer to such comments as evidence supporting their efforts to present the Iran as a danger threatening Israel's existence.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|