Counterespionage: Turkey detains Iranian spies over plot to kidnap ex-soldier

Turkey has detained eight individuals including two Iranian spies over a plot to kidnap a former Iranian soldier, security sources said Wednesday, in the latest espionage case threatening to roil relations between the two neighboring regional powers.

The two alleged spies were detained as they plotted to kidnap and forcibly repatriate a former Iranian military official from the eastern Turkish province Van, an official also told AFP.

VIDEO — Footage shows Turkish counterintelligence operation that led to the arrest of 2 Iranian spies, 6 “local collaborators”

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Six local “collaborators” were also arrested in operations conducted jointly by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the national police, the official said.

The official did not disclose the suspects’ identities or the reasons for their attempted kidnap of the former Iranian military official.

Turkey and Iran have historically close economic relations but occasionally find themselves on opposite sides of regional conflicts, including in Syria.

In February, Turkey briefly detained an employee of the Iranian consulate in Istanbul in connection with a probe into the assassination of an Iranian dissident in Turkey in 2019.