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    Mossad Chief: Israel Has 'Eyes and Ears' on the Ground in Iran

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    Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s national intelligence service, in a briefing on the security situation alluded to the country’s covert operations in Iran, saying that Mossad had “eyes and ears” on the ground in the Persian state.

    Cohen told Finance Ministry officials during a closed session in Jerusalem that Israel was keeping a close watch on the situation in Iran, not only from abroad, but also from within the Islamic Republic.

    "We have eyes and ears, even inside Iran," he said, without specifying.

    Commenting on the recent wave of anti-government protests in Iran that started on December 28, 2017, Cohen said that while he did not believe the unrest was likely to topple the regime, he would be "very happy to see a social revolution" in the country. 

    "I would, of course, be very happy to see a social revolution in Iran," Cohen said. "That's something that could perhaps happen in the future."

    The Mossad chief admitted that Iran's economy has improved since the signing of the nuclear agreement with the US and other countries in 2015, but claimed that it has't significantly affected the lives of Iranian citizens and therefore they have taken to the streets to protest against unemployment, poverty, and the rising cost of living, as well as the policies of the country's government.

    "This reality is pushing people out into the streets, but one must temper expectations," Cohen said.

    About 3,700 people have been detained during the demonstrations in several major cities in Iran, including Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan and Rasht, according to the country's lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi. At least 20 people have reportedly been killed during the protests.

    Meanwhile, Iranian authorities accused foreign countries, including the United States and Israel, of trying to destabilize the situation in Iran, saying that evidence provided by intelligence showed "there has been a triangle pattern activating these events".

    Iran, university students attend a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by anti-riot Iranian police, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017
    © AP Photo /
    Iran, university students attend a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by anti-riot Iranian police, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017
    "Once again, the nation tells the US, Britain, and those who seek to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran from abroad that 'you've failed, and you will fail in the future, too,'" Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote on his Twitter page Tuesday.

    Cohen's comments also come two months after an alleged Mossad agent was sentenced to death in Iran, after being found guilty of involvement in a string of assassinations of Iran's nuclear scientists, according to prosecutors.    

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    Tags:
    protests, intelligence, Mossad, Yossi Cohen, Iran, Israel
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