Iranian security services claim to have foiled an Israeli sabotage plot against the country’s ballistic missile production and to have arrested several agents involved, state media reported Thursday.
An unnamed intelligence official of Iran’s defense ministry blamed arch-enemy Israel’s Mossad spy agency for the alleged plan to sell Iran faulty components that would have blown up the missiles, the IRNA news agency said.
Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister Mehdi Farahi charged that enemy agents had attempted “to put an explosive and undetectable circuit” inside missiles “so that it would explode at a specified time and date,” IRNA said.
The unnamed official was quoted as saying that “a very professional network, under the direct guidance of the Mossad organisation, planned to sell defective and faulty parts to be used in the production of advanced missiles.”
“This network, by trying to sell the faulty parts, intended to convert the missiles into explosive devices to inflict a blow to industrial production lines and employees working in this field,” the official reportedly told IRNA.
“Despite the very complex plan of the Zionist enemy, this action was under intelligence and operational monitoring from the very beginning and was completely neutralized by the arrest of the network’s agents.”
The official did not say how many agents had been arrested or where they were from.
Iran and Israel have for years been engaged in a shadow war, with Tehran accusing its adversary of a series of sabotage attacks and assassinations targeting its nuclear program, carried out alongside the United States.
Tehran has also accused Israel of being behind a January drone attack on a defense ministry site in the central province of Isfahan.
The United States and Israel have previously accused Tehran of using drones and missiles to attack US forces and Israel-linked ships in the Gulf.