Iran announces spy arrests after Ahmadinejad helicopter ‘accident’

Iran and its regionBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Iran announced the arrest of an alleged 12-member spy network on Sunday, just hours after a helicopter carrying the country’s President was forced to make an emergency landing due to an unspecified “accident”. Iran’s state controlled media reported late on Sunday that the alleged spy ring had been instructed “to carry out terrorist acts” aimed at disrupting the Iranian presidential election, which is to be held on June 14. In a carefully worded statement, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said the alleged spy ring operated under the direction of Israel’s covert-action agency, Mossad. The statement added that the ring’s leader had been recruited through “a reactionary Arab country” in the region and his espionage and sabotage activities in Iran were directed from “a headquarters in Britain”. Unconfirmed news reports claimed yesterday that “a remarkable amount of weapons” had been confiscated by Iranian counterintelligence forces as they apprehended the 12 ring members. The government’s statement said the weapons were meant to be used to “conduct terrorist acts” before and during the June 14 election day, and to “create ethnic and religious divisions” inside the country. On June 14, Iran is scheduled to hold its first presidential election since 2009, when the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked mass demonstrations organized by the opposition ‘Green Movement’. Some have called these demonstrations a precursor of the Arab Spring, which led to the toppling of regimes in several Arab countries, including Egypt and Libya. Read more of this post

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News you may have missed #500

Iran factory blast coincides with reported bomb attack on Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Official Iranian denials of an alleged bomb attack on the life of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday have been followed by reports of a simultaneous attack on a state-of-the-art Iranian petrochemicals complex. Specifically, on August 4, Reuters news agency cited an Iranian “presidential office source” in reporting a strong blast “500 meters from Ahmadinejad’s motorcade”. The blast, which Reuters attributed to either a hand grenade or a homemade explosive device, occurred as the Iranian President was being transported from the regional airport of Hamadan, in western Iran, to the city’s sports complex, where he was scheduled to deliver a speech. Reuters’ unnamed source said the President escaped unhurt, but subsequent reports indicated that several other passengers on the motorcade were injured. Interestingly, President Ahmadinejad’s office initially appeared to confirm the assassination attempt, but soon afterwards official state news agency IRNA attributed the blast on “an excited young man from Hamadan [who] exploded a firecracker in order to express his happiness”. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0257 (assassinations edition)

  • Who tried to kill the Israeli diplomats in Jordan? “Whoever placed the bomb targeting the two armored embassy vehicles on their way from Jordan to the Allenby Bridge, last Thursday, appears to have had very good intelligence. They knew that many Israeli diplomats, who normally live in Amman without their families, usually depart for Israel for the weekend on Thursday afternoon, and they knew how to identify the two-car convoy”.
  • Iran insists in Israeli link to Mohammadi assassination. Last week’s assassination of Iranian scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was carried out in a “Zionist style”, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said in his first direct comment on the killing.
  • Pakistanis urge US to stop drone attacks. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has renewed calls on the US to stop its CIA-operated targeted assassinations, using unmanned Predator drone attacks on Pakistani soil, as they “kill civilians and ruin its efforts to isolate militants sheltering with tribes in the border region”.

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News you may have missed #0232

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