Israel releases ‘Iranian spy’ story as Netanyahu heads to Washington

netanyahu-rouhaniOn September 11, Israel’s secret police (Shin Bet) arrested a Belgian windows and roofing salesman who is alleged to be an “Iranian agent … sent to Israel to set up a base for Iranian intelligence and terrorism networks”.

The Israeli government delayed releasing information about the arrest until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set off for Washington on his mission to counter the “the onslaught of smiles” that Americans have been subjected to over the last few days.

Reasons the Israelis give for regarding Ali Mansouri with suspicion, include:

  • The fact that when he became a Belgium citizen in 2006, he changed his name to Alex Mans. Were it not for the fact that the father of Israel’s prime minister shed his Polish identity when he migrated to Palestine, Bibi might now be generally known as Benjamin Mileikowsky. As millions of Americans can attest, the adoption of a new name in a new homeland is far from unusual.
  • Mans was found in possession of photos of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. Much more detailed photos can be found on Google Maps.
  • “Iran offered him a million dollars in exchange for his activities.” But did he take a dime?

Mans left Iran the year after the revolution and has spent most of his adult life living in Turkey and Belgium.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Public defense lawyers representing Mansouri said that their client is a Belgian businessman who is not motivated by any pro-Iranian agenda.

The attorneys, Michael Orkavi and Anat Yaari, said their client had been denied access to a lawyer for nine days. They added that a more complex picture exists than the one being presented by security forces, and that the full details would emerge in court after Mansouri is charged.

Mans’ cover as a ‘salesman’ seems quite convincing. But maybe that’s because he’s just a salesman. The only thing he’s definitely ‘guilty’ of is having been born in Iran.

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