December 22, 2008, 2:17 PM (GMT+02:00)
An Iranian official said Monday, Dec. 22, that the BBC which had entered the region "under the guise of a news organization… was more involved in recruitment for intelligence activities." Two groups of reporters were arrested and several other groups were pursued, Tehran claimed.
The BBC has not commented on the charge.
Mohammad Karim Ebadi, member of the Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Majlis. Tehran claims the alleged spy cell was "identified and dismantled" before it could carry out operations. Ebadi said reporters had reserved hotel rooms using pseudonyms. Iran's intelligence services claimed the BBC was aiming to establish a spy network "with the support of the British embassy."
Iran has been in grip of spymania in recent weeks, claiming one intelligence plot after another. Last month, an electronic salesman, Ali Ashtari was hanged after being convicted of spying for Israel, and a Revolutionary Guards commander and the Revolutionary Guards chief Maj. Gen. Mohammad-Ali Jafari disclosed the arrest of an alleged Mossad spy cell.
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