The former official, who served as energy and infrastructure minister from 1995 to 1996, has agreed to a plea bargain on charges of espionage and transfer of information to Iran.

The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday sentenced Gonen Segev, a former Israeli minister of energy and infrastructure, to 11 years in prison for spying for Iran after a plea bargain was agreed, the prosecutor stated.

"The indictment which Segev confessed to as part of the plea bargain included grave crimes of spying and providing information to an enemy with the intent of harming national security," prosecutors Geula Cohen and Rachel Aharoni Zeevi stated, adding that he "confessed that he acted on behalf of the Iranian intelligence forces for five years, maintained regular communications with his handlers using a clandestine channel and that he provided them with a diverse range of information — including top secret information."

According to the prosecutors, the former minister met with his handlers both in Iran and other countries at secret locations. As they specified, Segev sought to promote contact between Iran and Israelis he knew in the defence establishment.

Explaining his motives, Segev previously stated, as quoted by Channel 10, he tried to help Israel and return as a "hero" under the guise of spying for Iran.

As the Jerusalem Post reported, he lived in Nigeria for almost 10 years where he practised medicine there, since his license had been revoked in Israel. According to the media outlet, in 2005 he had been previously arrested and convicted of drug smuggling and credit card fraud.