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Israel’s hasty announcement of spy arrest is suspicious, media say
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The circumstances surrounding the hasty announcement of the arrest of an alleged Iranian spy in the occupied territories are suspicious, according to Israeli media outlets.
  
Israel's Shin Bet security service on Sunday announced the arrest on September 11 of an Iranian spy carrying photographs of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.
 
News of the arrest of Ali Mansouri, described as a Belgian of Iranian origin, was released just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for Washington and New York, determined to expose what he described as "sweet talk" by Israel's arch-foe Iran.
 
On Monday, Israeli media outlets said that the Zionist security services don’t usually hurry to announce the arrest of a spy, noting that the move was clearly motivated by Israel’s diplomatic and political interests.
 
"Security services do not hurry to reveal, of their own volition, recent espionage affairs," Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot’s defense commentator Alex Fishman wrote.
 
"An espionage network is too important an operational card to trade with publicly, unless there is a particularly important operational or diplomatic interest that requires such disclosure," he added.
 
"In the case of the Iranian spy Ali Mansouri, the diplomatic interest behind the affair is completely transparent: Israel is trying to embarrass the Iranians in response to the successful public relations campaign that Iranian President (Hassan) Rouhani which he conducted in the U.S. over the past week."
Carmella Menashe of the Zionist regime’s public radio also echoed those suspicions.
 
"Security sources tell us that details of the investigation would have emerged anyway in the coming days," she said. "They confirm that there were additional considerations of national interest.
 
"The national interest considerations were the prime minister's trip to the U.S. and his speech at the UN."
 
According to AFP, an Israeli court on Monday remanded in custody the alleged Iranian spy for eight days. Mansouri, 58, was silent and motionless, in his first public appearance, as he sat in handcuffs, wearing a brown prison uniform. 
Public defender Okabi told reporters outside the courtroom that the facts of the case were not so black and white as the security service alleged.
 
"The apocalyptic picture painted by the Shin Bet is far more complex and the attempt to say that our client came here in order to carry out attacks on Israel is far from the truth and without foundation," she said.
 
"We are forbidden from giving further details," she said, as the investigation was still in progress
 
Israel's Shin Bet security service says that Mansouri, who holds a Belgian passport, was sent to Israel by Iran's elite Republican Guards and arrested at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion international airport as he sought to leave the country.
The domestic intelligence service, directly responsible to Netanyahu's office, said that under questioning, the suspect had said he had been promised $1 million to use his position as a businessman to set up companies in Israel on behalf of the Iranian intelligence services to "harm Israeli and Western interests".

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Last Updated on 30 September 2013 17:57