The news of the arrest of Iranian agent Ali Mansouri is a leak timed in response to the recent United States overtures toward Iran, according to unnamed security sources quoted by Channel 2.
The sources said that the timing of the news “is not a coincidence, and is connected to the new developments and the warming in relations between the US and Iran.”
The sources added that the fact that one of the photographs caught in Mansouri's possession was a photo of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv “is further evidence that the decision to make the arrest publicly known was not a random one.”
The Shin Bet has made it known that the suspect had been to Israel three times and was only arrested on his third visit, when he had completed his mission and was about to go to Europe.
Channel 2 says that it is not known whether the agent was being followed throughout his visits to Israel, or whether he was only discovered recently.
Mansouri's lawyers, Michal Orkabi and Anat Yaari of the Public Defender's Office, said that according to what they know, “This is a Belgian businessman who is not motivated by an anti-Israeli or pro-Iranian agenda.” They said that he was arrested several weeks ago and was denied the right to meet a lawyer for a week. They, too, surmised that the timing of the leaking of his arrest is connected to the current extensive public discourse regarding US-Iranian relations.