"The Information Ministry has arrested several spies who were carrying Irans nuclear information [out of the country">," he told reporters during a news conference in the Iranian capital. Iran Focus
Tehran, Aug 31 Iran has arrested dozens of spies including several who leaked the Islamic Republics nuclear secrets, Minister of Intelligence and Security Ali Younessi said on Tuesday.
"The Information Ministry has arrested several spies who were carrying Irans nuclear information [out of the country">," he told reporters during a news conference in the Iranian capital.
Younessi did not identify those arrested, but said members of the opposition Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) had passed the bulk of secrets on Irans nuclear program to foreign countries.
"The hypocrites (Iranian regimes derogatory term for PMOI members) had the main role and they have boasted before about spying against Iran in a press conference in America," he added. "We have identified and arrested dozens of spies on various grounds."
The PMOI has been the source of some of the most reliable information about Iran's nuclear program in recent years, as subsequently proven by UN inspections.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an umbrella coalition that includes the PMOI, first disclosed location of two sensitive nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in central Iran in August 2002, a move that set off the launch of a major probe by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
A spokesman for the NCRI in Paris denied that those arrested had anything to do with the organizations previous disclosures of Irans secret nuclear program.
Through such lies, the mullahs ruling Iran want to distract attention from their dogged pursuit of nuclear weapons and also put on a show of force, the spokesman, Shahin Gobadi, said.
The fact is that none of those arrested had any links to the Iranian Resistances disclosures about the mullahs secret nuclear program, he added.
In his press conference, the Iranian minister said, "The department of counter-espionage in the intelligence ministry possesses the most modern technology and controls the infiltration of foreign spying services.
Tension over Iran's nuclear activities has increased in the run-up to a meeting of the IAEAs governing board later this month. The IAEA is investigating Iran to find out the extent of Iran's nuclear programme and, in particular, whether it is secretly trying to build a nuclear weapon.
In the past it has criticised Iran for not declaring all its activities and it is now checking to see if Iran is complying with the inspection rules.