Three ‘Mossad-linked’ agents detained in Iran to face trial

IRNA reported in April the arrest of three people it said were spies linked to the Israeli intelligence agency

Police stand guard outside the French embassy during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and French President Emmanuel Macron's comments, in Tehran, Iran October 28, 2020. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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Iran will soon put on trial three people it claimed were Mossad-linked spies when they were arrested in April, state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday, amid simmering tensions between Tehran and Israel.

“The three were planning to assassinate our nuclear scientists according to intelligence assessments,” judiciary official Mehdi Shamsabadi said, without specifying the nationality of the detainees.

IRNA reported in April the arrest of three people it said were spies linked to the Israeli intelligence agency in Iran's south-eastern province of Sistan-Balochistan.

Iran and world powers have engaged in negotiations to revive a 2015 nuclear pact that would curb Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange to the lifting of American sanctions, which were reimposed on Iran after former US president Donald Trump left the agreement in 2018.

The talks have stalled since March and Iran has escalated its enrichment programme following a resolution by the UN nuclear watchdog that criticised it for failing to explain uranium traces found at undeclared sites.

Israel regards the prospect of Iran developing nuclear weapons as a threat to its existence and could act independently to stop Iran's nuclear programme should the international community fail to do so, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned earlier this month.

Iran claims its nuclear programme is peaceful.

In May, Iran arrested two French citizens accused of being spies. The US State Department called on Iran to release them. A third person connected to them was arrested as he attempted to flee the country last week.

Updated: June 21, 2022, 2:15 PM
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