Monday night, Jan. 10, Tehran launched against Israel a full-scale intelligence onslaught on three fronts:
Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi stated that after a year's effort, his agency had succeeded in penetrating the ranks of the Mossad, Israel's central espionage agency and rolled up a network of Iranian agents implicated in the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi last January.
In a separate statement, Iran's new foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi claimed "legal proof" that former deputy defence minister Alireza Asgari, who was in charge of Iran's nuclear and intelligence ties with Syria, was kidnapped by Israeli agents from his Istanbul hotel shortly after his arrival from Damascus on Dec. 9, 2006.
Tehran was demanding the incident be investigated by an international body.
The third step was blatantly anti-Semitic: The Fars news agency, which is owned by the Revolutionary Guards – IRGC, offered a new twist on the blood libel devised often in the past to justify the persecution of Jewish communities. It carried report noting that Jews were wont to add the blood of Muslim children to the "Ears of Haman", a pastry traditionally baked on the Purim festival which falls this year on March 20.
This accusation, together with the putative "exposure" of "the real holocaust," the massacre of Iranians and spy charges, are capable of unleashing a wholesale anti-Semitic rampage against the 20,000 Jews who are the last survivals of the 3,000-year old community.
Our Iranian sources report that in recent weeks, Iranian Jews, fearing for their lives, have been fitting steel plates on the Magen David symbols outside synagogues and Jewish institutions. Sunday, they hastily covered the tombs of Esther and Mordecai in Hamedan after watching Iranian students rallying in demand for the government to stop protecting the tombs as sacred sites and allow them to be demolished.
Monday night, a young Iranian presented as Majid Jamali went on Iranian TV to claim he had been a Mossad spy and received training at a facility "near Tel Aviv on the road to Jerusalem" in the use of explosives for planting in the cars of targeted Iranian nuclear program scientists.
His appearance coincided with the first anniversary of the murder of Dr. Massoud Ali Mohammadi. The authorities in Tehran badly needed to show some progress in the stalled investigation of his death – hence the Jamali show.
debkafile recalls that Iranian officials have variously hit on Israel, the US, Britain and other world powers as responsible for the scientist's murder. Iranian opposition circles and people close to its leaders Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karrubi have another theory: They are convinced that Mohammadi was killed by minions of the regime, because he supported the anti-government resistance. A week before his death, the scientist attended a meeting of the opposition Green Movement's supporters. And although he was a leading light of Iran's nuclear program, in the days after his assassination, Tehran denied his association with that program in any way.
Monday night, young Jamali was produced with Tehran's latest version of the episode, tailor made for its intelligence against Israel, whereby he took part in the murder on behalf of the Mossad who had hired him as an agent. In reality, he claimed, he was a member of the Revolutionary Guards and employed in one of its top- secret intelligence divisions which the Israeli Mossad had been able to penetrate.
Iranian sources backed up his statement by reporting they had photos of Jamali carrying a gun in the company of his IRGC comrades.
debkafile's Iranian sources who monitored his broadcast "admission" in the Farsi language described it as an amateurish concoction full of holes. Most of the information he offered about the alleged "capture of Zionist spies" was a rehash of the statements released by security officials in Tehran the week of Mohammadi's murder. The account of his experiences as a Mossad agent certainly did not ring true. No espionage organization operates in the way he described; it would be contrary to its professional logic.
Moreover, if he had really been involved in the murder, he and his confederates would not have waited around but have fled the country as fast as they could run. The fact is that he was still in Iran.
And another careless mistake in the "legend" Iranian intelligence put together for its "Mossad spy" was the way he described his arrival at Ben Gurion airport as having to go through passport control
It is hard to conceive of the Mossad sending one its secret assets to be openly processed through Israeli passport control along with a pack of tourists.