Iran has discovered the identity of 290 “CIA agents” both in Iran and in other countries, and dismantled dozens of terror cells, boasted Iran’s Intelligence minister on Friday, April 19.
Mahmoud Alavi also claimed that Iranian intelligence agents have discovered and arrested "tens of spies" serving at "sensitive centers" of the country, over the last Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2018 – March 20, 2019).
Speaking at the Friday Prayers in Tehran, the mid-ranking cleric maintained that "hundreds of attempts" by "foreign intelligence services to recruit local people for spying were exposed and neutralized", adding, "The foreign services seeking to recruit Iranians have been disoriented by our discoveries."
However, the minister stopped short of presenting any details about his agents "achievements."
Iranian security and intelligence officials often claim the arrest of “terrorists” and “spies” but almost never show any evidence, name any suspect, provide follow-up news or hold a trial.
Nevertheless, Alavi could have been referring to widely circulated but "unconfirmed" news concerning an Iranian foreign ministry employee having been arrested for spying, and the execution of two members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) intelligence organization charged with spying for Israel.
Earlier in November 2018, the Islamic Republic authorities had confirmed that an Iranian, Ali Ashtari, had been charged with spying for Israel and later executed.
Furthermore, in his Friday speech, Mahmoud Alavi boasted that, during the last year, the Ministry of Intelligence has identified "290 CIA agents" in "different countries, including Iran."
Following our achievement, Alavi claimed, "the CIA's connection with its spies was so distorted" that it was deeply confused, and forced to establish a "failure committee" in the U.S.A.
Based on the minimal details presented by Alavi, including his reference to "Yahoo News" and "identification of 290 spies", one may presume that he had been talking about a Yahoo News report published last year and partly reflected in Iranian local news outlets.
In early November 2018, Yahoo News reported, "Dozens of American spies were killed in Iran and China after a flawed communications service that allowed foreign foes to see what the agents were up to using Google, official sources have claimed."
Between 2009 and 2013 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency suffered a “catastrophic” secret communications failure in a website used by officers and their field agents around the world to speak to each other, Yahoo News reported, adding that it heard from 11 former intelligence and government officials about the previously unreported disaster.
“We’re still dealing with the fallout,” one former national security official was cited in the report. “Dozens of people around the world were killed because of this.”
However, while Alavi has mentioned 290 CIA spies being identified, citing Iranian authorities, Yahoo News had referred to only 30 American spies being exposed.
Alavi also maintained that the information was offered to friendly countries which led to the arrest of CIA agents.
Moreover, the Iranian minister proudly declared that the U.K.'s MI6 was penetrated by the Islamic Republic agents who also succeeded in recruiting several members of the Israeli cabinet, as well as neutralizing the moves of a company that used to inject faulty parts in one of the sensitive facilities in Iran.
Alavi went further by maintaining that his ministry has recently changed its policy from defensive to an offensive one.
Alavi, who was speaking on the "National Day of Intelligence Ministry Staff," announced, "Over the past year, the intelligence forces managed to identify and dismantle 144 Takfiri terrorist teams, 116 cells linked to the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK), 44 anti-revolutionary groups."