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These teenagers may be Israel's future operatives in an espionage battle against Iran. They learn about Iranian history and culture and sing in the Persian language.
>> I'm Reuter's Rinat Harash at Ben Gurion High School in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva. These high schoolers behind me may be Israel's future operatives in an escalating shadow war with Iran. They are enrolled in a unique university-level program titled Iran Security and Intelligence. They are currently studying for their final exams, focusing on Farsi grammar, translations, and contemporary Iranian affairs.
When drafted for their mandatory military service at age 18, they will be natural candidates for key positions in Israel's intelligence services. Because of their candidacy, the program managers requested we do not publish their full identities.>> Israel is casting more widely for Farsi speakers for its intelligence services.
That would square with Israel's publication last month of what it said was a trove of secret Iranian nuclear documents that required marathon translation and analysis after their capture. And this school is happy to provide the candidates. Program director, Milovich, says, some former students already served in Israeli intelligence.
>> Iran was his and will be one of the many issues of the State of Israel. And I think that we have to raise people that know and will be expert in this field.>> Many Israelis are conscripted into the military at the age of 18. And the veil is readily lifted on the secretive recruitment policy for its espionage services.
But for these students, learning Farsi is not entirely about preparing for conflict with Iran.>> I believe it can help me in the future. Not necessarily in a specific way, but my way of thinking is quite different from when I started. I really feel like it gave me more tools to investigate, understand, and learn