Parole panel: Manbar will stay in prison

Convict jailed in 1997 for supplying Iran with know-how and chemicals for its military effort.

nahum manbar 298. 88 (photo credit: Channel  2)
nahum manbar 298. 88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The Israel Prisons Service announced Tuesday afternoon that its Parole Committee had reviewed the case of Nahum Manbar, who was convicted of spying for Iran, and had decided that he would remain behind bars. Manbar's parole was up for review after the businessman, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for passing information and selling weapons to Iran, completed two-thirds of his prison sentence. Last month, the state submitted its position that it opposed Manbar's early release out of concern that he could once again become a security threat to Israel. Manbar, who was born on a kibbutz near Hadera, left Israel in the 80s with the law close behind him after being convicted of fraud. He then worked as a weapons dealer, including brokering Soviet-sponsored transactions with Iran. These and other crimes were committed between 1990 and 1994, even after he had been warned to stop his contacts with Iran and had repeatedly promised to do so. In 1997, the Tel Aviv District Court convicted Manbar of signing a contract with the Iranian government to supply it with know-how and chemicals for its military effort, and to help establish factories to produce chemical weapons. He received $16 million in return. Both the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the Mossad submitted opinions opposing his early release. The Mossad wrote in its opinion that "we know that Manbar lost his fortune and went bankrupt and that his economic situation is not good. We also know from past experience that Manbar is greedy and therefore easily seduced by money, that his value system has disintegrated and that, in addition, he has a 'personal account to settle' with Israel, which, according to his distorted viewpoint, did him an injustice."