All Israel News Staff and Reuters | December 4, 2022
The Islamic Republic of Iran executed four men on Sunday four days after convicting them of working with Israel’s Mossad spy agency and sentencing them to death, according to reports from Iran’s Mehr News Agency.
The Iranian regime claimed that the four were agents of Israel’s Mossad and had received weapons and training from Israel. They arrested the men in June.
Israel and Iran have been enemies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution removed the shah from power and established the ayatollah regime.
In recent years, tensions between Israel and Iran have escalated with Iran’s “supreme leader” calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state and with Israel accusing Iran of using its nuclear program to develop weapons it considers a direct threat to Israel’s existence.
The two nations also fight a proxy war in Syria, with Israel regularly attacking weapons convoys headed toward Iran’s terrorist proxies in the country and sites under the control of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
In April 2018, Israel shocked many by releasing what it claimed were Iranian documents showing “new and conclusive proof of the secret nuclear weapons program that Iran has been hiding for years from the international community in its secret atomic archive.”
While the Israeli government did not reveal any details about how it secured the documents, its release of the files appeared to demonstrate a penetration of Iran’s security infrastructure.
In the intervening years, both countries have appeared to carry out hacking attacks and other electronic warfare against the other.
In November 2020, a leading Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated near Tehran in what was widely assumed to be an Israeli attack. This incident raised fears in Iran that Israel had managed an unprecedented level of infiltration into the Iranian security network.
Recently, on Nov. 29, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Seyed Mehdi Farahi announced that Fakhrizadeh’s death would be avenged, saying the perpetrators “will receive a response to their actions.”
In a message to Fakhrizadeh’s family, the deputy defense minister blamed “the usurper Zionist regime” along with others for his death.
While Iran did not directly link the four executed suspects to Fakhrizadeh’s death, the announcement of their death sentence the following day seems to be linked to Farahi’s comments.
Officially, the Islamic regime charged the four with theft, destruction of property, kidnapping and espionage.
Three others were sentenced to serve between five and 10 years of prison time, after being convicted for acting against national security, aiding in kidnapping and possessing illegal weapons, according to the Mehr News Agency. The Iranian government did not appear to link them directly to Israeli espionage attempts.