Iran calls Haifa University website a Mossad front

Regime warns Iranians against reading Farsi-language blog since its purpose is ‘to recruit spies’

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

University of Haifa (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Zvi Roger/Wikimedia Commons)
University of Haifa (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Zvi Roger/Wikimedia Commons)

Iranian security sources are accusing Haifa University’s Farsi-language blog of recruiting agents for the Mossad.

The purpose of the site, built by the university’s Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, is to expose Iranians to day-to-day life in Israel. It boasts over 100,000 visits a month.

When the regime in Tehran noticed large numbers of people visiting an Israel-based website, it warned that the blog was a Mossad front, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Thursday.

“Beware of this site; it’s meant to recruit spies for the oppressing Zionist regime,” the Basij militia, which is under the command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, reportedly wrote in a warning circulated in recent days among Iranians online.

The admonition, which informed readers that the information on Israel was a cover for the true, nefarious purpose of the site — to recruit spies — was published on leading Iranian websites. It was also posted as a comment on the Haifa U blog.

“The announcement by the Basij shows the Iranian regime’s fear of exposing the content [of the site] to Iranian readers,” Soli Shahvar, a head of the Ezri Center, told Yedioth. Calling the site a front for the Mossad scares people off, he noted, because they can then be “falsely accused of contacting the enemy and undermining the regime.”

The site,, was launched last year. At the time, editor Yoni Shadmi told Army Radio that it was designed to attract a large audience. “Our primary goal is that the story be interesting, and only after that the political context — in the belief that if the content is engaging, it will attract people from everywhere, no matter their origin.”

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