The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) revealed on Tuesday that Israelis have been recruited to spy for Iran and reveal information when visiting their families. During the past two years the Shin Bet has questioned 10 Israelis, some of them Jews, who’ve agreed to spy for the Islamic Republic.
While President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map, Iran is not an official enemy state, and Israelis can travel freely to the country if granted visas by Teheran. There are still some 25,000 Jews who live in Iran.
Over the past two years, 100 Israelis have applied for visas to Iran; after questioning, the Shin Bet found that 10 of them have been recruited to spy for Teheran.
“The Iranians are intensively collecting intelligence on the State of Israel,” a senior Shin Bet official said.
He also said it was imperative that legislation be passed considering Iran as an enemy country, to prevent Israelis from traveling there.
The Iranian government has found that recruiting from Turkey to be most effective because that’s where Israelis apply for Iranian travel documents. Since the Islamic Republic does not allow anyone into the country whose passport bears an Israeli entrance stamp, Israelis who want to travel there must get documents at the consulate that allow them into Iran, or they can take out an Iranian passport.
One Israeli, detained for questioning by the Shin Bet upon his return to Israel, told his interrogators that Iranian agents had asked him to recruit a relative who worked for an Israeli security service.