Counterintelligence: Turkey arrests Iranian spies for conspiracy to kidnap ex-soldier

Turkey has arrested eight people, including two Iranian spies, for a plot to kidnap a former Iranian soldier, security sources said on Wednesday in the latest spy case threatening to disrupt relations between the two neighboring regional powers.

The two suspected spies were arrested while plotting to kidnap and forcibly repatriate a former Iranian military official from Turkey’s eastern province, Van, an official also told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

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

The official did not disclose the identity of the suspects or the reasons for their attempted kidnapping of the former Iranian military official.

Turkey and Iran have historically close economic relations, but sometimes find themselves on either side of regional conflicts, notably in Syria.

In February, Turkey briefly detained an employee of the Iranian consulate in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the assassination of an Iranian dissident in Turkey in 2019.

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