Saturday, September 04, 2004

Iran Says Has Arrested Several Nuclear Spies

Top News Article | Reuters.com: "Iran Says Has Arrested Several Nuclear Spies
Tue Aug 31, 2004 09:15 AM ET

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has arrested dozens of spies, including several who passed secrets about its nuclear program to its enemies, Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi said on Tuesday.
The United States accuses Iran of using its atomic program as a smokescreen for building nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists the program is solely dedicated to meeting booming domestic demand for electricity.

"The Intelligence Ministry has arrested a number of spies that transferred Iran's nuclear intelligence (abroad)," Yunesi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

Yunesi said most of those arrested were linked to the Iraq-based Iranian opposition group the People's Mujahideen Organization (MKO).

He did not say when the arrests took place, but his remarks came after Iran's "government week" in which ministries catalog their achievements over a broad timeframe.

"The hypocrites (MKO) had the lead role and they have boasted before about spying against Iran in a press conference in America," he added. "We have identified and arrested dozens of spies on various grounds."

Iranian officials label the MKO hypocrites for losing faith in the 1979 Islamic revolution and the government says the group has killed several prominent politicians since the revolution. Washington lists it as a terrorist group.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the MKO's political wing, has been the source of some of the most reliable information about Iran's nuclear program in recent years, as subsequently proven by U.N. inspections.

In August 2002, the NCRI broke the news of two undeclared sites in Iran -- a massive uranium enrichment complex at Natanz and a heavy water production facility at Arak.

Tehran later declared these sites to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

The Intelligence Ministry said it has nothing to add to the IRNA report."

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