January 10, 2012
TEL AVIV - The Israeli spy agency Mossad is using Iranian exiles living in the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan to target Iranian nuclear experts and sabotage the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, says an Iraqi security official quoted by the French daily Le Figaro.
"The Mossad agents have increased their infiltration in the Kurdish regions of Iraq," the unnamed security official was quoted as saying.
He said Iranian refugees in the Kurdish regions opposed to the current regime in Tehran are being recruited by the Israeli agents to target Iranian experts in nuclear technology.
Iran has regularly accused the United States and Israel of targeting its nuclear scientists in a bid to disrupt its nuclear program.
On Monday, Iran's Revolutionary Court sentenced an Iranian-American man to death on charges of espionage for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a charge that the U.S. has denied as baseless.
Hekmati, a 28-year-old of Iranian descent born in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona, was arrested in December and Iran's Intelligence Ministry accused him of receiving training at U.S. bases in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq.
Iran's judiciary said Hekmati admitted to having links with the CIA but denied any intention of harming Iran, which has had no relations with the United States since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to Reuters. Mutual antagonism has reigned since.
Iran, which often accuses its foes of trying to destabilize its Islamic system, said in May it had arrested 30 people on suspicion of spying for the United States and later 15 people were indicted for spying for Washington and Israel.