Horst D. Deckert

Iran Executes Four ‘Saboteurs’ It Says Worked For Israel’s Mossad

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Hanging comes days after Israel took out general described as Iran’s top commander in Syria

Iran has executed four people it says were linked to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, state media announced, after their prior convictions for espionage and spying.

Those killed were three men and a woman, who were put to death by hanging (which is the typical form of capital punishment) on Friday. The media wing of the country’s judiciary, Mizan, identified the deceased as Vafa Hanareh, Aram Omari, Rahman Parhazo and the woman as Nasim Namazi. 

“Four members of a sabotage group related to the Zionist regime [Israel]… were hanged this morning,” according to the state media report. The group of alleged saboteurs “committed extensive actions against the country’s security under the guidance of the Mossad,” Mizan added.

State media further claimed the group had kidnapped Iranian security forces for the sake of gaining intelligence on behalf of Israel. They are also alleged to have gone on a sabotage campaign, including setting fire to cars and apartments belonging to Iranian intelligence officers. Possibly, they were rounded up in prior widespread economic protests and riots.

Two weeks ago, another man was executed in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, also accused of working with Mossad.

Iran is typically depicted in Western media as being paranoid about external spy interference in its affairs, but it’s also true that Israel has carried out an unprecedented assassination and sabotage campaign inside the country over the years, related to the Iranian nuclear program. Israeli officials have at times appeared to positively boast about it, and several top Iranian nuclear scientists have died.

Syria too has increasingly become ground zero in this intelligence shadow war, with less than a week ago Israel taking out a general described as Iran’s top commander in Syria.

Gen. Razi Mousavi, described as having been a close associate of slain IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani, was laid to rest in the Iranian capital on Friday, as the Associated Press describes:

Iran held a funeral Thursday for a high-ranking general of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard who was killed by an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria.

Hundreds of mourners accompanied the flag-draped casket of Gen. Razi Mousavi from a central square of Tehran to a shrine in the north of the city where he was buried.

If Israel is allowed to assassinate Iranian military generals in Syria because they pose a threat to Israel, does it mean Iran is allowed to bomb its neighboring countries to assassinate active Israeli intelligence and military officers because they pose a threat to Iran? pic.twitter.com/fuQXT0mU00

— Kevork Almassian🇸🇾🇦🇲 (@KevorkAlmassian) December 26, 2023

The timing of Friday’s executions and accompanying announcement that the four supposedly worked with Mossad is also without doubt related to the Gaza War. Israel has been repeatedly threatening Iran given its historic support for both Hamas and Hezbollah, while Tehran officials have also been issuing daily threats and denunciations as the Palestinian death toll rises.


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