Thursday, November 24, 2011

Iran Arrests 12 CIA Agents

Report: Iran arrests 12 CIA agents -

By the CNN Wire Staff

Iran says it has arrested 12 CIA "spies", for allegedly trying to cripple Iran's nuclear, military and security areas

(CNN) -- An official Iranian news agency quoted an Iranian legislator Thursday as saying that Iran's intelligence ministry had arrested 12 CIA "spies."

The report could not independently confirmed.

Parliamentarian Parviz Sorouri said the alleged spies were trying to cripple Iran in the nuclear, military and security areas, Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Sorouri did not mention the nationalities of the people arrested or say when and where they were arrested, IRNA reported.

"It's possible that Iran sees this as an opportunity to just jump on the bandwagon after Hezbollah-related stories earlier this week," said a U.S. official who was not authorized to talk on the record. "They'll do anything to try and get international pressure and attention off of them, but it won't work."

The CIA declined to comment on the report.

The news comes after the reported capture this week of several CIA informants in Lebanon by Hezbollah, a group closely aligned with Iran that the United States views as a terrorist organization.

A U.S. official confirmed this week that Hezbollah had captured of CIA informants in Lebanon, but the official did not say how many were detained.

"Collecting sensitive information on adversaries -- who are aggressively trying to uncover spies in their midst -- will always be fraught with risk. Good CI (counterintelligence) can mitigate risks, but won't eliminate them all," the source said.

In May, the Iranian intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, said that more than 30 U.S. and Israeli spies had been discovered, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Thursday.

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'Iran to strike back hard at enemy folly'

Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:59PM GMT

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says the Islamic Republic's armed forces will respond most powerfully to the “slightest mistake” by the enemy.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Army, and the Basij forces are completely vigilant and will respond to the slightest mistake by the enemy in the severest manner, Fars News Agency quoted Brig. Gen. Vahidi as saying on Thursday.

The Israeli and US authorities have in recent weeks stepped up their aggressive war rhetoric against Iran.

On November 6, Israeli President Shimon Peres threatened that an attack against the Islamic Republic was becoming 'more and more likely.'

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Military Affairs Ehud Barak have also reportedly been lobbying the Israeli cabinet to approve of a military strike on Iran.

Similar calls, ranging from executing covert operations such as terrorism and assassinations to launching a military strike on Iran, were also made during a November 12 US presidential debate by a number of Republican candidates.

These threats have no effect but to strengthen us further, the Iranian defense minister pointed out.

Earlier on Monday, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said that Iran would “dump Israel into the trash bin of history,” should the Tel Aviv regime commit the folly of launching an attack against the country.

The United States and Israel have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran's nuclear work may consist of a covert military aspect.

Iran has strongly rejected the allegations, saying that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Iran will not sit back, watch threats

Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:2PM GMT

A senior Iranian military official says Iran will change its current attitude and defense strategy if threats against the country continue.

“Recent remarks by the Leader [of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] mean a change in the Iranian nation's defense strategy,” Iran's Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Mohammad Baqeri said on Tuesday.

“If threats continue, the Iranian nation's attitude will be reconsidered,” Mehr News Agency quoted Baqeri as saying.

In an address to Imam Ali military university students last week, Ayatollah Khamenei warned the US and Israel that Iran would not stand by and watch the threats issued against the country.

The Leader added that if the idea of invading the Islamic Republic crosses anyone's mind, they must prepare themselves to receive firm response from the Iranian Army, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij.

During past weeks Israel has renewed its aggressive rhetoric against Iran. On Monday Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak threatened that "time has come" to deal with Iran.

“People understand now that Iran is determined to reach nuclear weapons… And that should be stopped,” Barak claimed.

Israeli President Shimon Peres threatened on Nov. 6 that an attack against Iran is becoming "more and more likely."

The Iranian officials have promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.

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