Report: Senior IRGC Officer Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for Israel


Senior Iranian commander Brig. Gen. Ali Nasiri was secretly arrested on allegations of spying for Israel, The New York Times reported Wednesday, quoting Iranian sources.

A source said that two months before Nasiri’s arrest several dozen employees of the Iranian Defense Ministry, who worked on developing its missile program, were detained on suspicion of leaking classified information to Israel.

“The security breaches inside Iran and the vast scope of operations by Israel have really undermined our most powerful intelligence organization,” former Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi told The New York Times in a phone call. “The strength of our security has always been the bedrock of the Islamic Republic and it has been damaged in the past year.”

According to the report, the move caused a growing atmosphere of mistrust within the Iranian leadership, especially since Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps chief of intelligence Hossein Taeb was removed from his position. Taeb’s apparent dismissal came on the heels of scathing criticism he faced following a failed attempt to carry out a terrorist attack against Israelis in Turkey, causing a diplomatic crisis with ally Ankara.

According to Abtahi, by dismissing Taeb Tehran acknowledged that confronting the “threat from Israel” required new leadership and change in strategy.

On Saturday, Iran named Gen. Mohammad Kazemi as the new chief of intelligence. The IRGC also named Gen. Hasan Mashroueifar as head of the Vali Amr Unit – the special forces unit that provides personal security for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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