Intelligence Minister Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei was quoted by state television as saying Iran had "identified 100 American and Israeli spies at the Iranian border. They were planning to obtain military and political information within Iran".There's more detail in this report from AFP via Yahoo News:
"One hundred people who were directly working for the US and Israeli intelligence ... who were intending to collect political and military information were identified and are now in our intelligence net," Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie was quoted as saying.What? The US supports armed groups in Iran? Is this paranoid fantasy?
The minister added that a number of Iranians who wanted to take part in spying courses abroad had also been arrested, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Thursday.
"We were able to identify and arrest all those who wanted to take part in espionage course abroad under the guise of taking part in educational courses," Mohseni Ejeie said, without elaborating.
Early last month, Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli said that Iran had arrested a spy working in parliament's research centre who had been passing information on its nuclear programme to outlawed armed opposition group, People's Mujahedeen.
Iranian authorities claim that the United States supports armed groups in the country's border provinces, whose population includes Kurd, Arab or Baluch ethnic minorities.
According to Reuters,
Iran's highest authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has previously warned about a "velvet revolution" -- a supposed U.S. plot to use intellectuals and others inside the country to bring about "regime change".Is Khamenei a raving paranoid lunatic? Or does he simply know a few things the average American doesn't?
As Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane have reported at Raw Story:
Much of the buildup to Iran has been entirely covert, using non-government assets and foreign instruments of influence to conduct disinformation campaigns, plant intelligence and commit acts of violence via proxy groups.The administration may have been able to avoid Congressional oversight but it's hardly possible that the Iranians have failed to notice what's been going on in their country. Paranoid or not, they're being careful.
A few weeks prior to the Iraq invasion, in February 2003, Iran acknowledged that it was building a nuclear facility at Natanz, saying that the facility was aimed at providing domestic energy.
That spring, then-Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) opened a channel on Iran with former Iranian Minister Fereidoun Mahdavi, a secretary for Ghorbanifar. Both Weldon and Ledeen were told a strikingly similar story concerning a cross border plot between Iran and Iraq in which uranium had been removed from Iraq and taken into Iran by Iranian agents. The CIA investigated the allegations but found them spurious. Weldon took his complaints about the matter to Rumsfeld, who pressured the CIA to investigate a second time, with the same result.
In May 2003, with pressure for regime change intensifying within the US, Iran made efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution with the United States. According to Lawrence Wilkerson, then-Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, these efforts were sabotaged by Vice President Cheney.
"The secret cabal got what it wanted: no negotiations with Tehran," Wilkerson said.
The US was already looking increasingly to rogue methodology, including support for the Iranian terrorist group MEK.
In March 2006, administration action became more overt. The State Department created an Office of Iranian Affairs, while the Pentagon created an Iranian Directorate that had much in common with the earlier Office of Special Plans. According to Seymour Hersh, covert US operations within Iran in preparation for a possible air attack also began at this time and included Kurds and other Iranian minority groups.
By setting up the Iranian Directorate within the Pentagon and running covert operations through the military rather than the CIA, the administration was able to avoid both Congressional oversight and interference from then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, who has been vocally skeptical about using force against Iran.
And what have they found? Americans and Israelis?
How preposterous! Since when has Israel been trying to provoke a war against Iran?