Israel’s Central District Court on Tuesday sentenced Iranian-Belgian national Ali Mansouri to seven years in prison for espionage, as part of a plea bargain reached with the State Attorney’s Office.
The 55-year-old Mansouri, who received Belgian citizenship in 2006 and subsequently changed his name to Alex Mans, was arrested while trying to leave Israel in September 2013. During his interrogation, Mansouri admitted he was recruited by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and was instructed to use his Belgian identity to forge business contacts in Israel, to serve as a cover for diverse intelligence gathering.
The defense claimed Mansouri’s actions were coerced, as several members of his family were held by the IRGC, which threatened to harm them unless he agreed to cooperate. Mansouri admitted he was also promised $1 million for his cooperation.
According to the indictment, Mansouri visited Israel three times. He documented the layout of Ben Gurion International Airport, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, and a secret military facility.