Former Israeli Minister Accused of Spying for Iran Claims He Did So to Return Home As ‘Hero’
Israel’s collective jaw dropped Monday as news surfaced that a former government minister was charged with spying for, of all countries, the Jewish state’s arch-foe Iran. Gonen Segev was at one-point Israel’s energy and infrastructure minister but later was imprisoned on charges of drug smuggling, forgery and fraud. He was arrested last month in Equatorial Guinea on suspicion of providing intelligence to Tehran and thereafter extradited to Israel where he was charged with assisting an enemy during wartime. According to Israel’s Channel 10, Segev admitted to interrogators to meeting with Iranian agents but claimed he did so in order to help Israel and return home as a “hero.” Segev also contended that he did not hand over any classified information and that he had no ideological or financial motive to spy for an enemy state. A statement released by Israel’s internal security agency suggested that Segev transmitted to his handlers information relating to the Israeli political and military establishments during two trips to Iran; this, after being recruited in 2012 by officials in the Iranian Embassy in Nigeria, where Segev was living at the time.