Through a rare glimpse of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s sprawling prison facility in Tehran, Fox News gained exclusive insight into Iranians sentenced to severe sentences for mere contact with Israelis, including, on the one hand, a betrayal by the Turkish intelligence services – a suspected ally of the United States
“A woman who was held in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran – where the regime keeps most of its political prisoners – was arrested on leaving the Israeli embassy in Ankara by Turkish intelligence services,” a source told Fox News. Ankara, however, deported it to Iran and into the hands of the Revolutionary Guards, the source said.
The Turkish government under the reign of political Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan is apparently an ally of the United States because Turkey is a member of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO).
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The Trump administration has designated the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, and this classification remains in effect. The guards are responsible for the murders of hundreds of Americans in the Middle East.
The source, who declined to be named, said the woman “had been sentenced to 16 years of espionage and terrorism. She had an Iranian boyfriend she had met in Europe and who she said was working. as a doctor for the Israeli army. [Israel Defense Forces]. ”
The source added that “the woman had traveled to Tel Aviv with him on her Iranian passport and was most likely involved in something for the Israelis. She is a practicing Muslim and prayed regularly but felt somehow attracted or connected. to Israel. ”
It was not the first time that Erdogan betrayed Israel. In 2013, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that Erdogan “disclosed to Iranian intelligence services the identity of up to 10 Iranians who met in Turkey with their Mossad officers.”
The Resistance Axis Monitor organization, which provides an overview of “Iranian operations” in the Middle East, tweeted March 23: “Some popular pro-IRGC telegram channels claim Turkish intelligence warned of a Mossad plot to assassinate Quds Force economic deputy and former oil minister Rostam Qasemi yesterday in Lebanon, and that the authorities foiled the plot. ”
Another individual told Fox News that inside Iranian prisons, “many anti-regime activists were very pro-Israel, on the basis that” the enemy of my enemy is my friend “, and would say things like “I love Israel” or “I wish Israel would bomb Iran. “”
This source referred to the case of another Iranian prisoner who was reportedly sentenced to five years in prison for coming into contact with people in Israel. This person had posted comments expressing sympathy or interest in Israel on a Farsi language website about Israel that had been set up by an Israeli NGO trying to contact ordinary Iranians.
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“The prisoner was then contacted by this organization and recorded a video to support them,” the source said. “The individual had been in direct video call contact with an Israeli couple they had met through this website. The Iranian regime was monitoring them and arrested the prisoner for these illicit communications and for posting something pro-Israel online. The prisoner remained very pro-Israel in prison and spoke openly about his interest in visiting Israel after his release. ”
According to the source, “the prisoner even hoped that Israel would grant them asylum after their release, because they went to jail for Israel.”
The Islamic Republic has criminalized visits to Israel and over the years imprisoned Iranian Jews who managed to visit the Jewish state and returned to Iran. In 2020, the Iranian regime’s parliament passed a law banning all agreed contact between Iranians and Israelis.
A third case brought to the attention of Fox News involved an Iranian prisoner who had been convicted of spying for Mossad along with their partner, who managed to flee Iran before the prisoner was arrested. This prisoner is said to have owned an apartment in Tel Aviv and had visited Israel on several occasions.
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The revelation that Turkey damaged suspected Israeli assets in Ankara could spark further criticism of Erdogan’s government. The Trump and Biden administrations have expressed strong opposition to Erdogan’s purchase of Russian S-400 missiles. Russia is hostile to NATO and critics view the Turkey-Russia alliance as endangering the NATO alliance.
Fox News sent press queries to the Turkish and Israeli governments and did not immediately receive responses.
Benjamin Weinthal reports on human rights in the Middle East and is a member of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal
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