Iran Executed Four Alleged Israeli Spies by Hanging

Iran has hanged four people in its north-west province of West Azerbaijan on charges of “moharebeh”, meaning “waging war against God”, and “corruption on Earth” through their “collaboration with the Zionist regime”. The individuals were accused of committing actions against the country’s security under the guidance of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, as reported by Iran’s judiciary’s Mizan website.

The group, consisting of three men and one woman, were said to have been engaged in “sabotage” on behalf of Israel. They were identified as Vafa Hanareh, Aram Omari, Rahman Parhazo, and Nasim Namazi. The four were also charged with kidnapping Iranian security forces to extract intelligence and accused of setting fire to the cars and apartments of some agents.

According to Iranian intelligence, they put the group under surveillance for at least four months before their arrest in May 2022. This comes after an Israeli airstrike in Damascus killed a high-ranking Iranian general, Sayyed Razi Mousavi. Iranian officials and allied militant groups in the region have vowed revenge for the killing but have not immediately launched any retaliatory strike.

The strike against Mousavi was seen as a warning to Iran against increasing the support it gives to Hezbollah, the Iranian-aligned militia based in Lebanon. Israel fears Iran has been speeding up the delivery of rockets and missiles through Syria and is trying to transfer defense systems against Israeli helicopters and UAVs to Hezbollah. The funeral of the longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guards in Syria was held in Tehran on Thursday and was punctuated with chants of “death to Israel”. Mousavi was responsible for coordinating the military alliance between Syria and Iran, an important part of Iran’s regional network of allies.

The execution of the individuals may further escalate tensions between Iran and Israel, and potentially lead to more instability in the region. The situation also raises concerns about the ongoing proxy conflicts and power struggles in the Middle East, where both Iran and Israel vie for influence and control.