Iranians tweet both for and against suspected Israeli spy

Iranians loyal to the mullahs applauded Former Minister Segev, charged with spying for the Islamic Republic, while regime opponents denounced him as a traitor. 

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The hashtag #FreeGonenSegev has been tweeted around 4,500 times in Iran since news broke Monday about the former Israeli minister of energy and infrastructure’s indictment for espionage in the pay of the Islamic republic, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Naturally, many of the social media campaigners supported Segev for working for their country, with one asking the international community to “intervene” on his behalf and another boasting that this achievement will help “bring down Israel from within.”

Others mocked Israel, as one @Moheqqq wrote: “Hey @netanyahu. Let’s play a game. 1 in 5 israel ministers is an Iran agent. Try and find them. Good luck! You have 48 hours. And to show you we are serious. You have 24 hours.”

However, anti-regime activists seemed just as angry as Israeli citizens upon hearing the news that the Shin Bet had arrested the highest-ranking Jew ever to be accused of assisting the enemy in a time of war, spying against the State of Israel and providing intelligence to the enemy.

“Those who serve the Ayatollahs deserve death, just as they execute those accused of spying in Iran,” said one tweet.

In related news, Channel 10 reported Tuesday that Segev admitted to the Shin Bet that he had contact with the Iranians, but not in order to work against his country.

“I wanted to fool the Iranians and come back to Israel a hero,” the report quoted him as saying during his interrogation.

He also denied having given his handlers any classified information.

Considering that he was a minister for less than two years over 20 years ago, it would seem logical that any secret intelligence he might have known at the time would have been outdated by the time the Iranians allegedly first recruited him in Nigeria in 2012.

Still, he could have given Israel’s sworn enemy useful information regarding Israel’s energy sector and the way the government and security services work in general as well as personal information about officials still employed in relevant positions. As there is a gag order on most of the case, however, the exact suspicions against Segev are not yet known.

The only other Knesset member to have been accused of spying for an enemy was Azmi Bishara, the founder of the Arab Balad party who fled Israel in 2007 after reports surfaced that he had spied for the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist organization, Hezbollah, during the Second Lebanon War the year before. Bishara now lives in Qatar and is close to the ruling family of the state, according to AFP.