Iran claims to have thwarted Israel-linked attacks on ‘sensitive’ sites | Political news

Iran has long accused Israel of carrying out attacks on its nuclear sites and assassinating key figures.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced the arrest of a network of Israeli Mossad-linked operatives who entered Iran to carry out attacks against “sensitive” sites, state media reported.

The suspects entered Iran from northern Iraq but were detained before they could carry out sabotage and “terrorist operations”, IRNA said on Saturday, citing a ministry statement.

The announcement by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry came amid growing tensions with regional rival Israel over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“The members of this network were in contact with [Israel’s] The Mossad spy agency passed through a neighboring country and entered Iran from [Iraq’s] Kurdistan Region with advanced equipment and high explosives,” IRNA quoted the ministry as saying.

The statement did not specify the number of suspects arrested or give their nationalities, or identify the targets of the alleged plots.

“The members of the network … intended to carry out unprecedented terrorist activities in certain sensitive locations and predetermined targets,” he said.

Israel’s prime minister’s office, which oversees the Mossad, declined to comment.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a shadow war for years, with Iran accusing its rival of carrying out sabotage attacks on its nuclear sites and assassinating key figures including scientists.

But tensions have escalated following a series of high-profile incidents that Tehran has blamed on Israel.

Iran has accused Israel of killing Revolutionary Guard Colonel Sayyad Khodaei at his home in Tehran on May 22.

Two other senior members of the Revolutionary Guards also died – one in a reported accident and the other in a shooting – earlier this year.

In April, Iran said it arrested three people linked to the Mossad and a month earlier claimed to have foiled an attack on a nuclear power plant also planned by suspects linked to Israel.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint pledge to deny Iran nuclear weapons. Tehran said its nuclear program was peaceful and denied seeking nuclear weapons.