Ali Mansouri, aka Alex Mans, 55, was arrested in Israel on September 11 on suspicion of attempting to establish front companies as cover for espionage and terrorist activities on behalf of the Iranian regime.

The arrest was under a gag order until Sunday, on the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trip to New York to meet with American President Barack Obama on Monday and to address the United Nations General Assembly.

The timing was interesting, considering Israel’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear development and the seeming improvement in relations between Iran and the U.S. The Israeli leader reportedly will aim to reveal the “true face” of the Iranian regime and to seek assurances from the U.S. regarding Israel’s right to defend itself.

Mansouri is a citizen of both Belgium and Iran and lived in Turkey for 17 years. He was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport by the Shin Bet (Israeli security agency) and the Israeli police’s Unit of International Crime Investigations at Ben-Gurion Airport, where he was found carrying photos of the American embassy in Tel Aviv, the airport and other local sites.

The suspect had been recruited by Iran’s Quds Force, a unit responsible for special operations, terrorism and subversion run by the Revolutionary Guards Corps, which reports directly to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, said a Shin Bet spokesperson.

“Since Israel is always trying to demonize Iran,” the arrest “came as no surprise,” the Tehran Times commented.

According to several media reports, Mansouri told Shin Bet interrogators that he was promised $1 million to spy on Israel.

Author: Atara Beck staff writer for United with Israel
Date: Sept 30, 2013

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