Iran has been making concerted efforts to recruit Jewish and Arab Israelis as spies against Israel, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) revealed Tuesday.I used to think Israel was a smart country when it comes to security, but not considering Iran, who's government has called for the annihilation of Israel and denies the holocaust, is ludicrous.
According to the report, Iranians have, over the past two years, been targeting Israelis of Iranian origin who traveled to Iran to visit relatives.
Counterintuitively, Iran is not considered an enemy state by Israel, and Israelis can travel freely to the country.
On Tuesday afternoon, Labor MK Ami Ayalon told Channel One that the reports show that Iran sees Israel as a threat.Eh, no need to worry here, right?
He added that Israel's classified defense information is digitized and kept on computer systems, and that these systems would be the Iranians' primary targets.
In the past two years, over 100 Israelis have applied for visas to Iran, 10 of whom were questioned by the Shin Bet and discovered to have been recruited as spies by the Iranians.
"The Iranians are collecting intensive intelligence on the state of Israel," a senior Shin Bet official told reporters.
Iran sees Israelis who travel to the country as potential spies, who can gather intelligence against Israel.
The Shin Bet said that Iran's intelligence gathering focused on three main points: Israel's decision-making echelon; Israeli military and defense establishments; and the strengths and weaknesses of Israeli society.
Since Iran does not allow anyone into the country whose passport bears an Israeli entrance stamp, Israelis who want to travel to Iran must pass through the Iranian Consulate in Turkey, where they are issued special documents that allows them into to Iran, or alternatively - take out an Iranian passport.
From the interrogation of the ten suspected spies, it emerged that Iranian intelligence officers disguised as diplomats work at the Iranian Consulate in Turkey. Israelis who arrive are taken into a separate room and questioned for hours about their military background, their families, political issues in Israel and possible connections to defense officials.Why in God's name would any Jew live in Iran? That is just insane! Well, I hope the Israeli government listens to Shin Bet, because it amazes me this has gone on this long.
The Shin Bet identified one of those officers as "Takwi," otherwise known as "Abdulli," and another as "Zinali."
After the initial contact at the consulate in Istanbul, the Israelis who arrive in Iran are taken again for questioning and, in many cases, their travel documents are confiscated. In some cases, Israelis are stuck in Iran for several months, the Shin Bet said.
The Israelis are then contacted again with an offer to help them trace their documents and leave Iran.
Once the documents are returned, the Israelis are usually asked to begin gathering information to pass on to their handlers.
In some cases, the Israelis were requested to obtain research papers and photos of classified military installations in exchange for thousands of dollars.
In the case of an Israeli who was offered a large sum to cooperation with Iranian intelligence, Iran hinted that his refusal would meet with a negative response. In some cases, Iranian intelligence has been known to arrest the Israeli citizens' relatives in Iran.
The Shin Bet has urged the Knesset to pass legislation defining Iran as a combatant country.
There are currently 25,000 Jews residing in Iran.
I would like to know if our government let's Iranian nationals into our country still. Heck, when I was in the Air Force, we were training Iranians on our military bases.