ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Iran claims to foil major Mossad attempt to insert defective parts into its missiles

Intelligence unit of country’s defense ministry says Islamic Republic thwarted ‘one of the largest sabotage plots targeting Iran’s missile, aviation and airspace military industry’

In this image taken from Iran's IRINN television channel on August 31, 2023, authorities show what they say are foreign defective parts that can be used in a missile or drone. (IRINN via AP)
In this image taken from Iran's IRINN television channel on August 31, 2023, authorities show what they say are foreign defective parts that can be used in a missile or drone. (IRINN via AP)

Iran claimed Thursday that it had foiled a major plan by Israel’s Mossad spy agency to sabotage its missile production and its defense industry as a whole.

“The intelligence unit of the defense ministry thwarted one of the largest sabotage plots targeting Iran’s missile, aviation and airspace military industry,” state TV said, according to Reuters. “This sabotage was carried out under the guidance of the Zionist intelligence services and their agents.”

The semi-official Mehr news agency said the intelligence department of the country’s defense ministry and the logistics branch of the armed forces had issued a statement on the matter.

“Over the past months, a completely professional network that had plotted to bring faulty and equipped pieces into the production cycle and supply chain for use in the production of advanced missiles in the missile industries of the defense ministry through the cooperation of some infiltrating elements,” the statement said, according to an English translation by Mehr, “fell in a trap spread by the intelligence forces at the defense ministry and it was dismantled.”

The cell had sought “to sell the equipped parts to turn the produced rockets into an explosive tool to hit industrial lines and employees working in that field,” the statement claimed.

It added that “despite the very complicated plot designed by the Zionist enemy, this action of the enemy was under intelligence and operational monitoring from the very beginning and was completely neutralized after detaining its agents.”

This frame grab from video footage released on Aug. 31, 2023, by Iranian state television’s IRINN network, shows what officials described as faulty foreign parts that could be used in a missile or a drone. (IRINN via AP)

Tehran frequently claims to foil Mossad operations in the country, but the veracity of such claims is unclear.

Last month, Iran’s intelligence ministry claimed it had disbanded a major Mossad network that had allegedly planned large-scale acts of sabotage in the country, including blowing up the grave of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who was killed in a US air strike in Baghdad in 2020.

Last December, the Islamic Republic executed four people accused of working for the Mossad, while three others received lengthy prison sentences.

Iranians prepare to set an Israeli flag on fire next to a picture of late Iranian general Qassem Soleimani during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) day in Tehran, on April 29, 2022 (AFP)

Tehran and Jerusalem have long accused each other of espionage activities and plots to sabotage critical infrastructure, part of a lengthy shadow war between them.

In late June, Israel’s spy agency announced that in a special operation in Iranian territory, it had caught an Iranian terrorist sent to lead a planned terror attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus.

Israel views Iran as its greatest threat and has repeatedly threatened to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies seeking such weapons and has vowed a harsh response to any Israeli aggression.

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