Israeli Potential Spy Rejected By Tehran Gets Two Years In Jail
The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Monday Mark Idan for two years in jail. Idan, an Australian citizen residing in Israel was charged with having contacts with a foreign agent.
According to Tel Aviv based HaAretz, 37 year old Idan was convicted nearly a month ago of establishing contact with Iran. Israeli security service and police arrested him in October 2001. He admitted entering the Iranian embassy in Cyprus, presented himself as an Israeli who served in the army, and offered to work for the Iranian government.
Israeli security officials called the affair "unimportant" and played down the man’s ties to Tehran.
Idan was born a Catholic in Italy and grew up in Australia. He arrived in Israel in 1987 and worked as a volunteer on a Jewish kibbutz. He married an Israeli and became a citizen and permanent resident there. In addition, Idan served for a short period of time in the Israeli army.
Idan traveled to Cyprus in 1999, partly to arrange a divorce. In Nicosia, he went to the Iranian embassy and offered a clerk his Australian passport with a note inserted in it claiming "I am an Israeli soldier and want to work for your government."
The embassy clerk photocopied the passport and told him an official was being assigned to handle his case and would be available in a few days. Apparently, the man who was to meet Idan was an Iranian intelligence officer.
Three days later Idan returned to the embassy and was given a note with the name of the handler and a phone number. After a few days, Idan called and was told that the officer was not available and that he should phone again the following day. Idan phoned the next day and spoke with the official who then told him his superiors were not interested in Idan's offer. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)