Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Mohammad Ali Jafari said Monday that the Iranian security forces have uncovered a Mossad espionage network. Jafari did not say how many suspects were arrested or under what circumstances.
"The Revolutionary Guard bureau of intelligence has recently located an espionage ring focused on the military," he told Iranian State television. "The ring was traced back to the Mossad and all of its operatives have been arrested." This act, he added, "is a severe blow to the Mossad."
According to reports in the Iranian news agency Fars, "the spies were trying to gather intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program, about the working of the Revolutionary Guard and about various people."
Jafari added that all the members of the espionage ring were apprehended and that they had "modern communications gear… they admitted they were trained by Israel to carry out attacks and murders in Iran." More details, he promised, would be made available soon.
Jafari's statement was made just as Lebanese President Michel Suleiman arrived in the Islamic Republic for the very first time. According to reports in the London-based, Arabic-language newpaper al-Quds al-Arabi, Iran may offer Lebanon military aid, which will include new missile systems.
On Saturday, Iran said that Ali Ashtari, a 43-year-old Iranian who was convicted of spying for Israel, was executed.
Iran is trying to demonstrate that it can outwit the Western intelligence agencies which are constantly trying to get information about its nuclear development program.
According to unofficial reports, the Iranian security forces arrested Hossein Derakhshan, a famed Iranian blogger, last week, after he was reported to have visited Israel. Derakhshan too is suspected of spying for Israel.