A police official said during Monday’s court hearing on remanding Iranian-born spy Ali Manosuri that the decision to lift the gag order on his arrest came from high–level government officials.

The decision to go public with news about the spy appears timed to coincide with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s trip to the United States, where he will attempt to combat the recent softening of President Obama and the Western world’s stance toward Iran.

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The Petach Tikvah Magistrates’ Court on Monday agreed to extend the remand of Mansouri, who traveled throughout Israel as Belgian businessman Alex Mans, for another eight days.

A gag order on the arrest of Mansouri, which occurred on Sept. 11 at Ben Gurion Airport, was lifted on Sunday.

He reportedly told Israeli investigators that he was recruited by Iranian intelligence, the Revolutionary Guards’ Al-Quds Force, to spy on Israel and was promised about $1 million for his services.

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