Iran's Ministry of Intelligence has claimed that it has identified an undisclosed number of “spies” in 28 countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe, amid a high level of tensions with Israel.
In its 700-word statement released on Friday, the ministry did not provide any specific details about the so-called spies but claimed that the identities of some of the spies active in countries maintaining intelligence sharing treaties with Iran have been provided to the respective governments.
The statement also said some of these agents have volunteered to work for Mossad, which made them “carry out various treacherous operations against the interests of their countries and the security of their fellow citizens” as a measure to test their sincerity.
The intelligence ministry also claimed that some spies in Tehran and a few provinces have been identified and either faced legal action on charges of spying for Israel or placed under security surveillance.
“Additionally, a number of Iranian spies residing outside the country have been identified, and decisions will be made based on the circumstances of each and the level of relationships between the ministry and the intelligence agencies of the countries where the spies reside," read the statement. This raises concerns that Iran could take action against dissidents of Iranian origin living abroad, alleging collaboration with Israel as a pretext.
Iranian intelligence organs often claim success in identifying or arresting "terrorists" or "spies" but rarely produce any concrete evidence or follow up the initial news with public trials.