AP: Iran is using Islamic religious organizations in Israel as a cover to run Israeli Arab agents in the country, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday. He did not elaborate.
Sharon's accusation came amid Israel's increasingly vocal concern over Iran's nuclear development program, which, Jerusalem says, is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying it is intended for electricity generation. The Associated Press

Iran is using Islamic religious organizations in Israel as a cover to run Israeli Arab agents in the country, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday. He did not elaborate.

Sharon's accusation came amid Israel's increasingly vocal concern over Iran's nuclear development program, which, Jerusalem says, is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying it is intended for electricity generation.

Israel has also accused Iran of helping fund Palestinian militant groups.

"Iran is undoubtedly a very dangerous country that operates among Israeli Arabs through the Islamic Movement," Sharon told a group of soldiers in Jerusalem yesterday. "Although most Israeli Arabs want to live a quiet life, there is a minority that are mostly run through Iran."

Last year, Israeli prosecutors charged leaders of the Islamic Movement, the largest political organization among Israeli Arabs, with funneling cash to Hamas and having contacts with an Iranian agent in Lebanon.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Israeli official said Iran was "continuing its efforts" to enlist Israeli Arabs in its cause.

The Islamic Movement, meanwhile, rejected the claims, with the Islamic Movement northern branch's deputy leader, Sheikh Kamel Khatib, saying that they constitute a declaration of war against both the movement as well as the entire Arab sector.