Iranian authorities have killed four people accused of working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, IRNA news agency reported. Three others were sentenced to long prison terms.
IRNA reported that the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guards announced the closure of a network linked to Israeli intelligence. She said that those members have committed crimes in the past and tried to disrupt the security of the country.
Israel and Iran are long-standing enemies in the region, and Iran sometimes announces the arrest of people it says have been spying for foreign countries, including the United States and Israel. Tehran does not recognize Israel and supports armed groups that oppose Israel in the Middle East, such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
Members of this network were accused of stealing and destroying private and public property, and also kidnapped individuals while interrogating them, according to the report. Iran says the spies allegedly had weapons and were paid by the Mossad.
IRNA identified the executed prisoners as Hossein Ordoukhanzadeh, Shahin Imani Mahmoudabadi, Milad Ashrafi and Manouchehr Shahbandi. Three other members of the group were sentenced to five to 10 years in prison, according to the news agency. They were arrested and sentenced to death in June on charges of intelligence cooperation with Israel.”
The Revolutionary Court was established in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution, and it is known for the harsh punishment it carries out against the leaders of Iran’s clerics. According to Amnesty International, Iran executed at least 314 people in 2021, more than half of the total executions recorded in the region in the Middle East that year.
Iran and Israel have accused each other of espionage. Israel sees Iran as its biggest threat, and has repeatedly threatened to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran has denied that it is looking for these weapons, and has vowed to give a strong response to any attack from Israel.
In January, Israel said it had busted an Iranian spy who was recruiting Israeli women on social media to photograph social media, gather intelligence and encourage their sons to join Israel’s military intelligence.