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Iran claims busting US spy network with 30 arrests

world Updated: May 22, 2011 00:31 IST
IANS
Tehran

Iran has claimed to have identified and dismantled a major spy network linked to the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and arrested at least 30 people during an operation, Xinhua reported.

Thirty people suspected of spying for the US have been arrested and 42 CIA operatives linked to the network have been identified, Iran's intelligence ministry said in a statement Saturday.

The US-related spy network was operating under the cover of the so-called job-finding centres to attract Iranian citizens to cooperate with them, by promising them jobs and education opportunities, and deceiving them with visa and entry permission to the US, the statement added.

The network was "established by a number of the leading CIA operatives" in some countries, said the statement.

"The network used a wide range of data bases and US embassies and consulates in several countries, specially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia and Turkey, to collect information on Iran's scientific, research and academic institutions in the fields of nuclear energy, air and defence industries and biotechnology," the ministry stated.

The US network also spied on Iran's oil and gas pipelines, power and telecommunication grids, airports, customs departments, network security and banks for future sabotage operations, it added.