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Iran hangs 4 men for plotting destruction of defence ministry’s factory, links with Israel’s Mossad spy agency

Image Source : AP Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Tehran: Iran executed on Monday four men convicted of planning sabotage and alleged links with Israel’s Mossad secret service, state media reported. The official IRNA news agency said the men were convicted of planning to target a factory in the year 2022 belonging to Iran’s defence ministry and involved in missile and defence equipment in the central city of Isfahan. The operation was allegedly engineered by Mossad and the four were trained by the Israeli agency in an African country before entering Iran, it said.

The four were identified as Iranian nationals: Mohammad Faramarzi, Mohsen Mazloum, Vafa Azarbar and Pejman Fatehi. The execution was carried out after the country’s Supreme Court upheld their death sentences, handed down by another court in September. The report did not say how the death sentences were carried out, but in Iran, it’s usually by hanging.

Iran death sentences have soared in past few years

In 2022, Iran said its intelligence agents had dismantled a group linked to Mossad that had allegedly planned terror operations inside Iran, arresting all members of the group and confiscating a large amount of weapons and explosives. Iran from time to time reports on arrests, trials and executions of its nationals for spying for Mossad and other Western intelligence services. Late last month, Iran executed four people – three men and a woman – and sentenced several others to prison for having alleged links with Israel’s Mossad security service, local media reported. Earlier in December, another man was executed on charges of releasing classified information to Mossad.

Why Israel and Iran are “true foe”

Iran and Israel have accused each other of spying and waging a shadow war for years. Israel views Iran as its greatest threat and has repeatedly threatened to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies it is seeking such weapons and has vowed a harsh response to any aggression. In 2020, Iran executed a man convicted of leaking information to the United States and Israel about a prominent Islamic Revolutionary Guard general, Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, who was killed by a US drone strike in January that year.

Iran does not recognise Israel and supports anti-Israeli militant groups across the region, including the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and the Palestinian militant Hamas group, currently embroiled in a war with Israel.

Last month, a high-ranking Iranian general of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard was killed by an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Iran denies involvement in drone strike in Jordan that killed US troops, calls Biden’s allegations ‘baseless’

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