Israel's intelligence services are looking to expand their pool of Iran experts via the 'Iran, Security and Intelligence' program at Ben Gurion High School in Petah Tikva, central Israel, Voice of America reported.
The two year course, run by retired former Shin Bet officer Brig. Gen. Pini Shmilovich, teaches language and conversational skills, while presenting 16 and 17-year-olds with the Israeli perspective of Iran's alleged involvement in regional conflicts with its neighbours, Tehran's support for groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and its leaders' advocacy for the destruction of the state of Israel.
"I don't know when and if there will be peace between us and Iran. But I think it's important that in Israel, there will be enough people who know what Iran is, and who can influence and be pro-active in the issue of the relationship between Iran and Israel," the intelligence officer-turned teacher said.
Hanna Jahanfooroz, an Iranian-born Israeli educator, teaches Farsi and Iranian culture, and told VOA that she feels perfectly comfortable knowing that some of her students would go on to engage in intelligence work against her former country. "If we in Israel can do anything for the Iranian people in Iran to be free, and the students can use (this program to achieve that), it's OK with me," she said.
Yotam, a student who enrolled in the program to help him apply for work in military intelligence during his two years of compulsory military service, said he expects his studies to help him along the way. "You have to be honest and know to keep a secret when you are going into intelligence. And I think I am able to do it," he said. Another student named Nadav said he wants to "help Israel with all of the problems that we have regarding Iran, and the Arabs in Israel and the countries next door. To bring peace, not for anything bad," he said.
Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted a timeline showing four times Mossad allegedly attempted to foil Iranian diplomatic efforts in 2018. Earlier this year, Israel arrested former energy minister Gonen Segev, accusing him of spying for Iran.