Tehran announced that it had coordinated with the Taliban in Afghanistan to arrest three Mossad agents, the Israeli intelligence agency, for allegedly preparing to attack Iran.
Iranian news agency IRNA said on November 5 that the counterintelligence campaign was conducted in the mountains between Iran and Afghanistan. Three Mossad agents were arrested while planning to carry out a suicide drone (UAV) attack on Iranian territory from the Afghan border.
The Taliban media agency also published photos of the arrested suspects, saying they were Iranian nationals.
“The suspects will soon be handed over to Iran by the Taliban government,” IRNA added. Israel has not commented on the information.
Iran has previously accused Israel of conducting sabotage and assassination attacks against infrastructure and officials related to Tehran’s nuclear program. In August, Iranian intelligence announced that it had stopped an Israeli plot to sabotage the country’s ballistic missile production and arrested several suspects behind the incident.
Tehran also accused Tel Aviv of carrying out a UAV attack on an ammunition factory in the central city of Isfahan in January, causing damage to the factory’s roof.
The latest arrest took place amid increasing tensions between Iran and Israel after Tehran repeatedly voiced its support for Hamas in the conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on October 29 accused Israel of crossing a “red line” when launching a ground operation into the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas, warning that this could force “everyone to act.” This also refers to pro-Iranian forces in the region, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthis in Yemen.
These forces previously conducted many missile and UAV attacks on Israeli territory, forcing Tel Aviv to send warships to the Red Sea to strengthen defense.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on November 1, called on Muslim countries to stop trade with Israel, including oil exports, to protest Tel Aviv’s attack on the Gaza Strip. Iranian media reported on November 5 that Mr. Khamenei received Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Tehran to express support for the group but did not reveal the time of the meeting.