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article imageOp-Ed: Israeli capture of 'spy' attempt to spoil new Iran-US relations?

By Saunon Malek     Sep 30, 2013 in World
Jerusalem - On Sunday, the Israeli bureau of investigation, otherwise known as the Shin Bet, captured an alleged Iranian spy. However is the claim legitimate, or is it merely a political tactic serving a greater purpose?
Ali Mansouri, a Belgian citizen originally born in Iran, was captured nearly three weeks ago in Israel accused of spying for the Islamic Republic, several news outlets reported.
According to Shin Bet, Mansouri had entered Israel numerous times prior to his capture, under the name of Alex Mans, disguising himself as a window and roof salesman. The Israeli organization further stated that the man had been promised approximately $1 million by the Iranian government to spy for Tehran. When he was captured nearly three weeks ago, government officials stated that Mansouri had pictures of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on him.
However, one of Mansouri's lawyers told the Jerusalem Post that "their client is a Belgian businessman who is not motivated by any pro-Iranian agenda."
Now, positioning ourselves on the previous points, taking the perspective of a political analyst, it can be inferred that regardless if the Iranian was legitimately a spy or not, the move made on behalf of the Israeli government served as a strategic tactic in an effort to spoil the newly thawing relations between the United States and Iran. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no comment on the historical breakthrough made earlier this week, when President Rouhani and President Obama engaged in a conversation over the phone - the first direct diplomatic contact between leaders of Iran and the United States since 1979.
Netanyahu ordered his cabinet and government officials to refrain from commenting on the phone call, which has drawn speculation from many political analysts, claiming that the Israeli leader has decided to remain silent rather than to criticize President Obama's diplomatic engagement with Hassan Rouhani. Netanyahu, who has been quite dismissive of Mr. Rouhani's efforts to promote peace and moderation, firmly believes the Islamic Republic will always be a threat to his nation, regardless of who is in power.
As a hardliner on Iran's ambitions, the prime minister has deemed the Islamic Republic as a legitimate enemy of Israel, and any cooperation between the United States - Israel's greatest ally - and Iran, would be a fatal occurrence in the eyes of Israeli politicians. Therefore, the capture of the alleged Iranian spy, may serve as a desperate attempt in order to prevent any further development of peaceful and constructive relations between the United States and Iran.
With the new Iranian president in power, we have seen the international community approach the Islamic Republic with more optimism and positiveness, and we have seen nations such as the United States alter bits and pieces of its foreign policy in order to provide for the greater good of peace; in this case, a historic negotiation with the Iranians. However the real question that must be prompted, is whether the Israeli regime is willing to do so as well - to pave a path leading to peace between both contending nations, and ultimately, a path leading to peace within the region.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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