Iran, worried by possible sabotage or an attack at the hands of Israel, has raised to five years the jail term for the crime of visiting Israel.
State television reported on Monday that the parliament approved an amendment that ups the jail term to 2-5 years from the current three months.
The original ban on traveling to the Jewish state, usually referred to by Iran as the "Zionist regime,” was inaugurated by the Shah in 1972, who also did not want Iranians to visit communist countries.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime has arrested a number of Iranians, executing some of them, for allegedly spying for Israel.
Israel also has been widely held responsible for the Stuxnet virus that paralyzed centrifuges at an Iranian nuclear plant, and for several assassinations and “accidents” that killed nuclear scientists.
Earlier this week, a Revolutionary Guards army base explosion killed at least 17 soldiers, including one of the country’s senior missile experts. Some reports stated that there were two explosions at two bases.
One Israeli missile expert said that the explosions probably was an accident, but others have offered circumstantial evidence countering Iranian claims that it was ammunition and not a missile that exploded.
Authorities allowed several of 45 ambulances that rushed to the scene, and there were signs that the explosions may have been from the air and not the ground.