Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iran Executes Mossad Agent, IRNA Says

Iran executed an alleged agent of Israel's intelligence agency Mossad on Dec. 16, 2023, according to state media.
Iran executed an alleged agent of Israel's intelligence agency Mossad on Dec. 16, 2023, according to state media.

An Israeli intelligence officer was executed Saturday in Iran, according to IRNA, Iran’s state news agency.

The alleged agent was accused of stealing secrets and giving them to Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, IRNA said.

“This person communicated with foreign services, specifically Mossad, collecting classified information, and with participation with associates, provided documents to foreign services, including the Mossad,” IRNA said.

The execution took place in Zahedan, the capital of the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan.

It said the accused had handed classified information to a "Mossad officer" with the aim of "propaganda for groups and organizations opposed to the Islamic Republic." It did not say where the alleged handover had taken place.

It was not clear when the person was arrested, but IRNA said an appeal had been rejected.

The execution came a day after Baluch militants attacked a police station in the province, killing 11 security personnel and wounding several others.

A state funeral was held on Saturday for the men in the town of Rask, where the attack took place, according to state television. Two militants of the Jaish al-Adl group also were killed in the ensuing clashes.

The impoverished Sistan and Baluchestan province borders Afghanistan and Pakistan and has historically seen clashes between security forces and Sunni militants. The population of the province is predominantly Sunni Muslim, while most Iranians are Shiite.

In April 2022, Iranian intelligence officers arrested three people they said belonged to a group with connections to Mossad, although it is not clear whether the executed person was one of them.

Iran and Israel have long accused each other of spying. Israel views Iran as its greatest threat and repeatedly has threatened to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies it is seeking such weapons and has vowed a harsh response to any aggression.

Iran occasionally announces the detention of people it says are spying for foreign countries, including the United States and Israel.

In 2020, Iran executed a man convicted of leaking information to the U.S. and Israel about a prominent Islamic Revolutionary Guard general who was later killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.

Iran does not recognize Israel and supports anti-Israeli armed groups across the region, including Hezbollah and Hamas.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.

Special Report