Iranian spy nabbed in Baghdad as Tehran steps up meddling in Iraq

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Iran Focus: Baghdad, Sep. 28 – Iraqi security forces have arrested a spy working for Iranian intelligence, a Baghdad newspaper reported Tuesday.
A senior Iraqi intelligence official identified the arrested man as Nashaat Abd Ali Al-Hussaini, adding that he had “confessed to serious things that would incriminate the Iranian intelligence and its interference in Iraq’s internal affairs,” Al-Furat reported. Iran Focus

Baghdad, Sep. 28 – Iraqi security forces have arrested a spy working for Iranian intelligence, a Baghdad newspaper reported Tuesday.

A senior Iraqi intelligence official identified the arrested man as Nashaat Abd Ali Al-Hussaini, adding that he had “confessed to serious things that would incriminate the Iranian intelligence and its interference in Iraq’s internal affairs,” Al-Furat reported.

Al-Hussaini’s handler was Mohammad Qarbani, a senior agent of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), who uses the pseudonym Abu Mohammad. Qorbani is working under diplomatic cover in the Iranian embassy in Baghdad and runs a large spy ring in Iraq, informed sources in the Iraqi capital said.

According to these sources, Al-Hussaini has made startling revelations in the interrogation about the role of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad in the espionage and sabotage activities conducted by clerical regime.

In Iran itself, senior officials continued their inflammatory statements on Iraq. Appearing on the state-run television on Saturday, Secretary of the State Exigency Council and former Revolutionary Guards Commander in Chief Mohsen Reza’i said, “Our war with the U.S. is very serious. It is like two wrestlers who are taking stock of one another. We are now testing each other in Iraq, and even in the scenes inside Iran. These are all signs that we and the Americans are at each other’s throat.”

On Monday, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi called for U.S. and British troops to withdraw from Iraq. His comments were repeated by Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, who also said yesterday that the ‘occupying troops’ should leaver Iraq immediately.

Separately, Revolutionary Guards Commander in Chief Major General Rahim Safavi threatened to confront U.S. pressure using Iran’s military.

In an interview with the London-based al-Hayat Monday, he added: “We are ready to confront any pressures against us, be they political, economic and even military.”

“The only way out of this (crisis) is for the U.S. occupation forces to withdraw from Iraq and the whole region,” Safavi was quoted as saying.

In a recent interview with the UAE daily Al-Khaleej, Interim Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim Shaalan said that the Iraqi government has asked the U.S. to pressure Iran to stop its interferences in Iraq’s affairs.

Accounts of recent Iranian meddling in Iraq have increased lately. In an interview with the Observer magazine, British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Iran over the consequences of interfering in the affairs of its neighbors and expressed indignation over Iranian support for Muqtada Sadr’s militia.