Two Israeli services -the Israeli Internal Security Service Shin Bet and the espionage service Mossad - recited on 12 April accusations against Iran, claiming that Iranian officials are using fake Instagram accounts to lure Israelis to meetings abroad, with the aim of harming or abducting them.
The allegations came hours after Tehran vowed to avenge an attack on one of its most important nuclear facilities in Natanz, which Israel blames.
Shin Bet and Mossad have unveiled a method by which Iranian officials use fake Instagram profiles, posing as women allegedly in business and tourism, to target Israelis.
"Through these profiles, they come into contact with Israeli citizens, schedule romantic or business meetings with them abroad (…) to harm or abduct them.", Shin Bet said in a statement, adding that these activities took place in Turkey, Europe, Africa and Arab countries.
Israeli intelligence services are concerned that Iran's activities could lead to attempts to harm or abduct Israelis in those countries, Shin Bet said, noting that a similar tactic was used by Iran against the regime's opponents in Europe.
An Israeli official - who asked not to be identified - told AFP AFP that "there was at least one case of a citizen who left for a foreign country in order to meet someone" with whom he met through a suspicious social media account. The man was notified in time by Israeli services and returned home, according to the official.
Tensions between Iran and Israel have risen in recent weeks as attacks on merchant ships from both sides reportedly took place.
Iran said on April 12 that a "small explosion" struck the electricity distribution center of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant on April 11, in what the Foreign Ministry described as an Israeli act of "terrorism."
Israel has expressed opposition to recent EU talks with Iran aimed at rescuing the 2015 international agreement on Tehran's nuclear program, which has been "spoiled" since 2018 when the US withdrew from the deal.
Israel claims that Iran has secretly worked on developing a nuclear weapon, while Tehran denies these allegations.
Source of information: securityaffairs.co