‘Iran arrests BBC reporters for spying’

The Islamic Republic has reportedly arrested several BBC reporters for spying in the wake of the latest espionage activities against Iran.

In a Saturday interview with ILNA news agency, a member of the Foreign Policy and National Security Commission of the Iranian parliament, Mohammad-Karim Abedi said the spy cell was identified and dismantled before carrying out any operations against the country.

Abedi said the BBC reporters first came under suspicion when they used different names to reserve rooms at their hotel accommodation.

Security officials later identified the BBC reporters were planning to expand their network of intelligence activities in Iran with the help of the British embassy, Abedi said.

The arrests come at a time when espionage activities against the Islamic Republic have reached a new height. Iranian security officials made high profile arrest of a number of Israeli operatives in the country in recent months.

IRGC commander, Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari announced on Nov. 24 that Iran’s intelligence recently disbanded a Mossad subset that was spying on the country’s military organizations.

The spy cell, which was tasked with gathering classified information and taking photographs of pinpointed locations, transmitted sensitive information to their superiors through advanced spy ware and satellite equipments.

This comes as another Israeli spy Ali Ashtari was recently convicted after confessing that Mossad had instructed him to sell bugged internet cables and satellite phones to targeted Iranian officials in an attempt to monitor their communications.

In response to the espionage onslaught, the Aerospace Faculty at Iran’s Amir Kabir University of Technology has designed a new generation of “spy drones” for surveillance, reconnaissance and covert missions.

Known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the robotic aircraft prowl over enemy terrain and transmit real-time images of designated areas to their ground operators, who guide them with joysticks from a distance.


Comment – December 22, 2008

Although the British Broadcastin Corporation has yet to report it on the above, it has been carried on Internet news web sites and by Israel’s YNet News.

Nonetheless, in response to questions from this web site the BBC issued a catagorical denial. The Iranian report, said a BBC spokesman: “has no basis in fact and we totally reject the assertion made – BBC journalism is about delivering impartial news and analysis, nothing else.”

All of which sounds fine until you look at the stories it carried on Saddam Hussein’s alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction – which turned out to be completely groundless. Those reports may indeed have been “impartial news and analysis” but they helped pave the way for the invasion of Iraq.