Thursday, 25 December, 2008

Iran denies arrest of British nationals on spying charge

TEHRAN, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iran has denied recent reports that the country has arrested some British nationals on spying charges, Iran's satellite Press TV reported on Wednesday. "No British national has been charged with espionage in the country," Iran's Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i was quoted as saying.

Mohseni-Eje'i, however, did not rule out such measures by the country's intelligence ministry to watch and investigate cases related to suspicious circumstances. According to Press TV, quoting Iran's Labor News Agency (ILNA), Iranian lawmaker Mohammad-Karim Abedi, also a member of Iran's Parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, said on Saturday that some BBC correspondents had been arrested in Iran "on charges of espionage."

Reportedly, the correspondents under question had used fake identities to book rooms at a hotel. Iran has tightened security and intelligence measures after hanging an Iranian citizen Ali Ashtari in Tehran on Nov. 17 for spying for Israel, to show that it had entered a "serious intelligence war with" its arc-foe.

Later on Nov. 24, the Commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iran has discovered an Israeli spy network recently.

Accordingly, an Iranian Intelligence Ministry official warned that Iranians should be on alert "about the serious danger of penetration of the Israeli intelligence services to Iran's internet and telecommunications network."
(news link)

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