Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said Tuesday, Oct. 26 that two people would go on trial for collaborating with Israeli intelligence – in addition to the five arrested earlier on charges of contacts with foreign intelligence services. He did not identify any of the seven accused, stressing only that they had all received large sums of money and the cases against them were ready for court.
He said the last two accused spies "were linked with the Zionist regime's intelligence services to pass intelligence to them" for large sums of money. According to the Iranian prosecutor, one of the two was involved in "counter-revolutionary activities" while the other "worked on issues pertaining to domestic affairs of the country."
The first five were accused of passing secrets about Iran's space program, economy and defense systems to unspecified "enemies of the nation" – usually a reference to the United States and Israel.
Dolatabadi described one of the five as "a 28-year old who used to work in the aviation and space industries and had gathered some information" and a second as "connected with the anti-Iran Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO)."
debkafile's Iranian sources note that Tehran had been widely expected to produce "Israeli spies" at some point soon. There was no reference to Israel when the first five arrests were announced. It was only on Tuesday that the Tehran prosecutor added another two charged with spying for "Zionist regime intelligence."
There were two motives behind this development:
1. It coincided with the loading of the first 160 fuel rods into the Bushehr nuclear reactor – and for good reason. This process had been postponed from August by the attack on its systems by the Stuxnet computer virus. Tehran has not been able to get to the bottom of this attack and, fearing its source was still lurking somewhere in the country for more mischief, decided to use scare tactics against possible culprits by arresting spies on charges that carry the death sentence.
2. Monday night, Oct. 25, Dennis Ross, Obama's Special Assistant and NSC Senior Director on the Central Region spoke at length to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC about the close strategic cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem. "I’m not aware of another country that we engage more regularly on such a wide range of issues," he said. "Over the last two years, I have seen four-star generals, intelligence officers, and high-ranking diplomats all develop personal relationships with their Israelis counterparts. Frankly, this degree of coordination is unprecedented."
He went on to advise Iran's leaders to "listen carefully to President Obama who has said many times, 'we are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.'"
Last May, the rulers of Iran and Syria resolved never to allow any military threat against either to go unchallenged – either directly or through their allies. Hence, the arrest of "two Israeli spies."