Iran executes four accused of plotting to blow up missile plant for Mossad

Tehran claims defendants were sent to Africa for training, crossed over from Iraqi Kurdistan to bomb military site in Isfahan, in operation overseen by spy chief David Barnea

Iran's domestically built missiles and satellite carriers are displayed in a permanent exhibition at a recreational area in northern Tehran, Iran, February 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
File: Iran's domestically built missiles and satellite carriers are displayed in a permanent exhibition at a recreational area in northern Tehran, Iran, February 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran executed four men at dawn on Monday after they were convicted of collaborating with the country’s arch-foe Israel on a plan to sabotage an Iranian defense site, according to the judiciary.

The four defendants, identified as Mohammad Faramarzi, Mohsen Mazloum, Wafa Azarbar, Pejman Fatehi, were arrested in July 2022 and accused of plotting to carry out an operation against an Iranian Defense Ministry center in the central province of Isfahan after illegally crossing into the country from Iraq’s Kurdistan, according to the judiciary’s Mizan Online website.

“The death sentence of four members of a group affiliated with the Zionist spy organization, who were arrested… for plotting a bombing operation in Isfahan, was carried out this morning,” Mizan Online reported.

According to Iran, the men had been recruited by Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, “about a year and a half before the operation.”

They were sent to African countries for “training courses in the military centers” where Mossad officers were present, the judiciary added.

According to a report by state-run news outlet ISNA, the plot, which involved 16 different bombs, had been personally overseen by Mossad head David Barnea.

The men were sentenced to death in September 2023.

In August 2023, Iran claimed to have foiled a “very complex” Mossad-initiated project to “sabotage” its ballistic missile industry. A few months earlier, in February, Teheran accused Israel of being responsible for a drone attack on a military site in Isfahan.

Iran and Israel are longtime foes and are currently locked in a row over Iran’s nuclear program. Israel accuses Iran of backing terrorist attacks against it, while Iran says Israel has carried out a number of killings of Iranian officials and scientists. Israel does not confirm nor deny such actions.

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