Tehran’s provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati appreciated the Iranian intelligence ministry forces for arresting an important CIA spy, describing the move as a great accomplishment for the country.
"I congratulate all those who played a role in the capture of the CIA spy," Jannati said during his Friday Prayers sermon in Tehran today.
He said the capture of the CIA spy should be seen as a very great accomplishment for the country "because this spy has a lot of intel and that’s why Americans are so much mad about this development".
Jannati reiterated that American officials are confused and upset because the captured spy was a very important agent for them.
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced on Saturday that it has arrested an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Iran immediately after he started his spying activities inside the country.
The Ministry’s public relations office said in a statement that the US administration had designed a very complicated and massive plot to pave the way for infiltrating the intelligence apparatus of the Islamic Republic; in the same line, the CIA tasked one of its intelligence analysts with putting this complicated intelligence-operational plan into action.
The statement said that the spy who is of Iranian origin and has served in the intelligence units of the US Army has accomplished missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and has passed highly sensitive and complicated training courses for the mission.
The ministry added that the Iranian intelligence forces identified the individual as soon as he entered the Bagram military base in Afghanistan and could find out his main mission.
The statement said that Iranian forces kept an eye on the spy when he entered Iran and arrested him as soon as he started his spying mission.
On Sunday, Iran broadcast the confessions of the CIA spy who was tasked with infiltrating the Iranian intelligence apparatus.
The arrested spy has been born in Arizona of US and has a track record of ten years of training as a professional spy. Amir Mirza Hekmati was employed by the US Army’s intelligence section in August 2001.
In his confession that was broadcast by Iranian TV on Sunday night, Hekmati explained his secret mission in Iran.
"I was graduated from high school in 2001 and decided to enter the US Army. It was in August 2001that I wore the US Army uniform and underwent different military trainings of the army," Hekmati said.
The spy noted that after undergoing general and special military trainings, he was sent to a special university to learn Middle Eastern languages besides intelligence trainings.
"When they realized that I know a little Persian and a little Arabic, they told me we want to send you to a university to learn the Arabic language," Hekmati added.
He pointed out that he then worked as intelligence analyst and entered Iraq in US Army uniform pursuing his main mission which was identifying people among Iraqi officials.
"I studied the opinion of Iraqi officials regarding the US and the presence of the US military in Iraq. Our goal was to pinpoint those Iraqi officials who were inclined toward the US and do something that in case of outbreak of any incident, they support the US military. After sending our reports to the US Army’s intelligence department, security and intelligence officials held secret meetings with Iraqi officials and tried to establish closer ties with those officials," Hekmati said.
The arrested spy further noted that right at the end of his several months of mission in Iraq, he was employed by some intelligence companies such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) affiliated to the US Department of Defense.
The mission of DARPA is strengthening the US Department of Defense’s Cyber Security capabilities.
"After DARPA, I was recruited by Kuma Games Company, a computer games company which received money from CIA to design and make special films and computer games to change the public opinion’s mindset in the Middle East and distribute them among Middle East residents free of charge. The goal of Kuma Games was to convince the people of the world and Iraq that what the US does in Iraq and other countries is good and acceptable," Hekmati said.
He noted that in July 2006, a woman contacted him and told that she was a government official.
"After her contact, I successfully passed the psychological and medical tests, as well as lie detection tests before the same CIA agent contacted me and told me that I had to wait for their call," Hekmati said.
He pointed out that then I was contacted by BAE Systems and I was informed that I had to return to Iraq as an intelligence analyst.
"I learnt how to use secret systems and methods for gathering information from different places and individuals. During this period, CIA was trying to find a suitable cover-up for my important mission," Hekmati added.
He further said that he was summoned to the US and in Washington Hotel after one and half hours, a CIA agent informed him that he had to go to Iran for dealing with an intelligence project.
"The CIA agent by giving detailed information prepared me for my big mission, while assuring me that given the cover-up provided for me I would not face any problem in the way of conducting my mission," the arrested spy further added.
Noting that during the process of conducting the project, he practiced a lot to become fully competent about the scenario, Hekmati noted that he was told that after being dispatched to Iran, he will become a source for Islamic Republic of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and provide the ministry with coordinated information within three weeks while receiving some amount of money in return before returning to US.
"I was given access to the most secret data systems for gathering the required information before being sent to US Bagram Base in Afghanistan," he said.
The arrested spy went on to say that from US Bagram Base to Kabul was 45 minutes and he worked at a spy center in Bagram.
"I had a series of flights from Bagram, including a flight to Dubai where I stayed for two days and then I came to Tehran by plane afterwards." Hekmati added.
He pointed out that the CIA’s plot was to provide Iran’s Intelligence Ministry with a series of apparently important classified information and then see how successful they were before contacting me.
"However, Iranian officials found out the truth. They dismantled the CIA spy network in Iran by finding out about my mission," Hekmati concluded.
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry has recently staged a very powerful clampdown on the CIA’s network in Iran. Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi announced in May that more than 30 US and Israeli spies had been discovered and he quickly took to Iranian television to broadcast information explaining the methods of online communication that the agents would use to trade intel.
Later, Moslehi announced in November that 12 more CIA spies who ran espionage operations in various grounds had been arrested.
Moslehi’s remarks came after senior Iranian parliamentary officials announced that the country had arrested 12 agents of the American Central Intelligence Agency.
Member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Parviz Sorouri, who first announced the arrest of the 12 spies, said that the agents had been operating in coordination with Israel’s Mossad and other regional agencies, and targeted the country’s military and its nuclear program.