Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi speaks with journalists in Tehran May 21, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
TEHRAN, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced Saturday that it had identified and dismantled a large spy network linked to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), adding that 30 people have been arrested during the operation.
Thirty people suspected of spying for the U.S. have been arrested and 42 CIA operatives linked to the network have been identified, the ministry said in a statement released on Saturday.
The ministry's Public Relations Office added in the statement that the U.S.-related spy network was operating under the cover of the so-called job-finding centers 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 United States.
The network was "established by a number of the leading CIA operatives" in some countries, and due to the massive intelligence and counter-intelligence work, the Iranian intelligence agents succeeded in discovering and completely dismantling the network, said the statement.
"The network used a wide range of data bases and U.S. 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 defense industries and biotechnology," the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said.
The statement further pointed out that the U.S. 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.