Israel Police and the Shin Bet domestic security agency are investigating a student employed by the Foreign Ministry on suspicion of having traveled to Iran illegally, Hebrew media reported on Sunday.
The suspect is also believed to have come into contact with Iranian intelligence officers during his trip.
The suspect — who was released on probation last month — visited Iran before he later filled a student position at the Foreign Ministry.
"The case has been taken up by the relevant Israeli authorities," the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
The suspect’s lawyers said his trip was for tourism reasons and that he did not keep it a secret from his friends and family. It is currently illegal for Israeli citizens to visit Iran for any purpose.
"This affair has been blown out of proportion. The suspect is a normal young man,” his attorneys were quoted as saying by Channel 12 News. “As the court ruled, there is no real evidentiary basis for an offense of contact with a foreign agent. There is no reason for the security services to prevent the suspect from meeting his lawyers for 10 days.”
According to Army Radio, the student in question is a Jewish man in his 20s, and he is not suspected of serious security crimes. The man was investigated in recent months after it was revealed that he visited Iran “for adventure-seeking purposes,” said Army Radio.
Further details of the investigation, including the suspect’s identity, are under a gag order.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.