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5 Years: Iran Increases Prison Sentence For Traveling to Israel


"Nuclear weapons would give Iran a major card to play."

TEHRAN, Iran (The Blaze/AP) -- Iranians traveling to Israel could go to prison for up to five years instead of only three months, after Iran's parliament revised an existing ban for such trips.

The measure reflects Tehran's security concerns over archenemy Israel. Iran claims to have dismantled several purported Israeli spy rings in recent years and arrested Iranians with alleged links to Mossad.

Fears over Iran's purported search for a nuclear weapon, among other relational issues, have led to an uncomfortable relationship between the two nations. Today, Digital Journal reports that Israel may not alert the United States prior to an attack on Iran -- an action that could be taken to prevent the development of Iranian nuclear weapon. DJ has more:

Israel has repeatedly attacked any state with nuclear facilities in its region, and done so successfully. There is absolutely no reason to believe that it wouldn’t attack Iranian facilities.

Nuclear weapons would give Iran a major card to play which may also be a trigger for Western action if it was believed that Iran were providing these weapons to terrorists like Al Qaeda or had intentions to do so.

On Saturday, there was a massive blast at an Iranian missile base. Considering the frustration between the two nations, some are speculating that Israel was behind the explosion. TIME has more about the blast as well as a recent report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):

Last week's report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran had experimented with removing the conventional warhead on the Shahab-3 and replacing it with one that would hold a nuclear device. [...]

Coming the weekend after the release of the unusually critical IAEA report, which laid out page upon page of evidence that Iran is moving toward a nuclear weapon, the blast naturally sharpened concern over Israel's threat to launch airstrikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. Half the stories on the Tehran Times website on Sunday referenced the possibility of a military strike, most warning of dire repercussions.

Iranian state TV on Monday reported that parliament passed the new travel amendment, expanding the current prison term for voyaging to Israel to between two and five years.

Under a 1972 ban imposed by U.S.-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, offenders faced possible imprisonment of up to three months.

At the time, the law was designed to mostly avert travel to communist countries.

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